Using a 16gb iPad when you're got 24 gibs of stuff
December 7, 2014 9:46 AM   Subscribe

First up, let's ignore the obvious solution of getting a newer iPad. Want to explore other option first! The wife is using the iPad as her main computer. Which is usually fine, she doesn't need to do much. But it gets a bit hard to a times, especially with photos. She takes a lot and would like to to have access to them all, among other things. Is there an App or technique where one can set aside say 2 gigs of space on an iPad that is only a subset of larger cloud space, without deleting anything? We have a terabyte on Dropbox. Are iCloud or iCloud Drive an option? Ideally she would be able to see lists of all the files and then open whatever, which downloads the file to the 2 gig space, which makes room by removing files which haven't used in awhile from the iPad only. They're still in the cloud and can be opened/downloaded again. Does this exist or it simply to elegant and useful to be implement by companies wanting us to spend more money?
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and I guess the iCloud Photo library (which is still in beta) will do this for you. Here's a link regarding the upcoming iCloud photo library, and here's a link regarding using shared photo streams to store your photos.
posted by bluloo at 10:02 AM on December 7, 2014

I would connect the iPad to a desktop and then dump the photos into Dropbox. I would also back them up on a hard drive somewhere. Then she can access the photos via Dropbox app. Bear in mind that Dropbox on an iPad is simply a browser window to the cloud copy at The files are never really on the iPad. So if the iPad is off-line, you don't have access to anything in Dropbox.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:09 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cloud storage is her only real option, yeah.

All the cloud storage options I've seen are going to require her to manage what is actively on the iPad at any given time herself.

If it's mostly photos and she really only wants to look at and share them, why not just use Flickr for this? I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't have to ever actually download anything or have any photos living on her device in order to see any photo whenever she wants, share on facebook, email a photo to someone, etc. Unless she's doing graphic design or photo retouching, this is probably the easiest way to manage large volumes of photos.
posted by Sara C. at 11:34 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am going to suggest something like Hyperdrive iStick which gives you a lot of storage in a form factor of 3.7 ounces and attaches/detaches from the iPad. This was my suggested solution to a friend who is a photography fiend with her iPad and bemoans the weight of all her equipment. Here are some links on hyperdrive as part of a photography workflow 1, 2 She can go with just the key with no viewer or get the more hardcore UDMA with a built in viewer. Both will show as an external device and all editing happens on the iPad. Another advantage is that you do not need access to the cloud.
posted by jadepearl at 12:50 PM on December 7, 2014

Seconding Flickr.
posted by harrietthespy at 2:40 PM on December 7, 2014

Best answer: Is there an App or technique where one can set aside say 2 gigs of space on an iPad that is only a subset of larger cloud space, without deleting anything?

Dropbox will do this. Put everything on dropbox. Open the dropbox app on the ipad. "star" photos you want available offline. Bam, it'll cache those locally.

For alternate solutions, that istick is horrendously overpriced. If someone asked me for an offline storage solution for this(because my first suggestion would be yea, dropbox) i'd say get the 30 pin or lightning camera kit to USB cable(and get a cheap used one, they're overpriced imo) and really cheap flash drive.

Dropbox will do exactly what you asked here if you use the "star" function correctly, though.
posted by emptythought at 4:38 PM on December 7, 2014

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