September 18, 2014 Last Updated 2:01 pm

A publisher’s wish list for any new iPad models starts with greater storage capacity

Since its launch in 2010, the entry level for Apple’s iPad has stood at 16 GB, far too little to store movies and audio content, let alone a collection of native digital magazines

Conversations with publishers and developers usually surround software and retail outlets, hardware is generally something reserved for the tech sites. Publishers talk about the need for a better organized App Store and Newsstand, better search, and cross-platform publishing options. Rarely do I hear calls for a thinner device, or even longer battery life (though I am sure we all agree that is always a good thing).

But if there is one thing I do hear often, it is the call for greater storage. iPhones with 8 gigs of storage or iPads with 16 gigs simply don’t cut it. A few enhanced eBooks and a couple months worth of a native digital magazine and before you know it a reader’s device has been maxed out.

This came home to be today when I finally got around to loading iOS 8 onto my older iPad – the so-called “new iPad” or 3rd generation iPad. The new operating system loaded fine but the first sync stalled when several app updates could not be installed due to a lack of storage space on the device.

In effort to clean things up I deleted a dozen or more magazine apps, but then decide to simply dump all of the iWork apps in order to make sure I would have enough space for new media apps. This did the trick. The iWork apps could be added in later as there was actually enough room (barely) but iTunes counts the updated apps as extra space at first until the old apps are replaced.

When I bought my “new iPad” in 2012 when released I made sure I bought one with 32 GB of storage rather than the minimum 16 GB.

Since its first release in April of 2010, Apple has kept the entry level iPad at 16 GB, only adding a 128 GB model with the 4th generation iPad. 18 GB was too little in 2010, it is ridiculous today.

Here is where we stand with the iPad:


The problem of storage maybe something that I encounter due to the number of interactive eBooks, magazines and newspapers housed on my device, but I manage my iPads carefully. I may have hundreds of media apps downloaded and inside iTunes, but I don’t keep the vast majority of them installed on the devices, knowing how precious storage space is. I also don’t have movies, TV shows or music on my device either, and that makes me an unusual iPad owner.

Imagine having a dozen movies on an iPad with 16 GB of storage and then beginning to download digital magazines built using Adobe DPS. I doesn’t work with 32 GB, it most certainly doesn’t work with 16.

That is why making the 32 GB model the entry point is essential. Making it 64 GB, the mid point of the new iPhone 6 models, is even better.

Apple seems obsessed with thinness, smaller, lighter when it comes to the iPad – things that are nice. But customer satisfaction with the iPad is high in most areas except one: storage. Fix that in late October and most publishers will not mind if there are no other major modifications to the device. Then we can start again to talk about the App Store, iBooks Author and other things on the minds of digital publishers.

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