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ProvPC
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Reged: 05/16/12
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Application Space on Tablets
      #42647 - 05/16/12 12:06 PM

I've a question concerning the manner in which some devices appear to limit the amount of space available for the installation of apps. As gifts, I purchased my parents each a 10" 16GB Toshiba Thrive, and then proceeded to install a variety of apps that I thought they might enjoy. In the process I came to realize that, in spite of the 16GB of available storage, only a relatively small portion (2 or 3GB) appears to be available for the installation of apps. The remainder is presumably available for photos, music and the like.

So... my questions:
1) I'm judging the space available for applications in the following way: I got to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications, and there at the bottom, beneath the list of installed apps, I see a green bar that indicates the amount of space used, and the amount of space available. The total escapes me at the moment, but I believe it was somewhere in the 2 or 3GB range - certainly a long way from the 16GB of internal storage. I interpret this to mean that when the 2GB is used up, I'll be unable to install any additional apps on the device. Is this correct?

2) On an Asus Transformer Prime, looking in the same place indicates 27GB of available space. I interpret this to mean that I'd be able to keep on installing apps until the 27GB was all or nearly all consumed. Is this correct?

3) If I'm interpreting these things correctly, is it a function of Honeycomb (on the Thrive) vs ICS (on the Prime)? Or does it have more to do with how Asus/Toshiba configured their devices from the factory?

4) And now for my REAL question: If it's a matter of how the devices are configured, how is one supposed to know before making a purchase whether these limits exist? I've never noticed any mention of such things in any of the reviews I've read. Admittedly, it may be that my interpretation of #2 above is wrong, and that there's a 2GB limit on ALL Android devices no matter how much internal storage is available, in which case I apologize for wasting your time with my ignorance.

The crux of the matter is really this: I've been considering purchasing one of the new Toshiba Excite 10 (AT305) with 32GB of RAM. Before making a purchase, I'd like some sort of indication of how much of that space would be available for applications. Are there effective limits to either the number of apps the O/S can handle, or the amount of space the O/S makes available for applications?

Thanks for your time!


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Application Space on Tablets [Re: ProvPC]
      #42648 - 05/16/12 12:47 PM

Yes it's confusing and yes it's an issue of Honeycomb vs. Ice Cream Sandwich. Honeycomb tablets partition internal storage into a small application installation area and a general storage area. You can however install apps to the SD card if you wish.

With ICS that limit is gone, and so is the ability to install apps on SD cards. Overall, the ICS way is much better since you're not limited for app installation size. The Toshiba Excite 10, like the Transformer Prime allows you to use all available internal storage for app installation since it runs ICS.

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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ProvPC
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Reged: 05/16/12
Posts: 5
Re: Application Space on Tablets [Re: LisaG]
      #42650 - 05/16/12 02:50 PM

Thank you so much for your reply. Since I don't use tablets for music or pictures, I wondered what benefit the extra storage might afford if the apps were limited to 2GB - thanks for sortng me out.

Thanks as well for your video and written reviews! I discovered Mobile Tech Review while searching for information regarding the Acer Iconia a510 - and when I was searching for a review of the Toshiba Excite 10 after its official release, the first on the scene was Mobile Tech Review! I find your reviews to be informative, fair and snark-free. )

Most reviews I encounter don't provde much information beyond the specs available from the manufacturer. Thank you for providing a much better feel for the device!


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ProvPC
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Reged: 05/16/12
Posts: 5
Re: Application Space on Tablets [Re: ProvPC]
      #43660 - 11/02/12 10:23 PM

"With ICS that limit is gone, and so is the ability to install apps on SD cards."

Do you happen to know whether this is the same arrangement for Jelly Bean, or can applications be installed both to all of the available internal storage AND to the external storage on an SD card?


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Application Space on Tablets [Re: ProvPC]
      #43663 - 11/03/12 10:19 AM

As it worked out, the internal separation of storage into an app area and a virtual SD card area is gone. So with most devices you won't have to worry about that issue. However, Google has blocked installing apps to external SD cards in ICS and above.

--------------------
Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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