The Best Alternatives to Storage Heavy Apps

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on September 26, 2018, App Guides

Most people have nearly everything they need on their smartphones. From email to games, work stuff and family stuff, it’s tough to imagine being without your mobile. But if you’ve got tons of stuff, or if you’re running less than a flagship model, then you might find that you’re running out of space. That dreaded “low storage” message means that you need to go through your device and delete things that are important to you. But what if we told you that you might not need to get rid of anything? Replace a few of those big storage apps with a suitable low storage alternative, and you might find that you have all the space you need.

What’s the Problem?

Phones have a finite amount of storage space, and a fair chunk of that internal storage is taken up with the operating system itself, meaning you don’t get the whole 16 GB or 32 GB that you think. As you add pics, apps, downloads and everything else to your mobile, that storage space starts to fill up. And once it’s full, you get that flashing “low storage” message.

Once a phone has little to no storage left it begins to run more slowly. Your camera won’t save pictures, you won’t be able to download, and you’ll probably find that your email stops updating. These performance issues are pretty significant, which makes freeing up storage space a priority. Fortunately, we’ve found some low storage options for some of your favourite apps, letting you easily free up some of that space that you need.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular apps out there, and if you’ve got an account, chances are that you have the official Facebook app on your phone. In itself, Facebook isn’t the biggest storage app on this list, coming in at about 69 MB. However, over time, Facebook bloats as it runs, often taking up well over 100 MB of storage space.

Luckily, there’s a great (and official) low storage version of the app. Facebook Lite comes in at just 5 MB and gives you everything you need to keep in touch with your timeline. Okay, there are some functionalities missing, but all the main ones are there, and Facebook Lite should be more than enough for when you’re on the go.

In addition, if you use the regular Facebook Messenger app (which uses 113 MB of space), you can download Messenger Lite, again an official app) which uses just 17 MB of storage.

Chrome

Don’t get us wrong, we love Chrome. It’s one of the best browsers around when it comes to extensions, bookmarking, and all kinds of other stuff. But if you use Chrome on your PC you’ll know that it’s a storage hog, and as it turns out, it also eats up space on your phone. Though the app itself is only around 70 MB, due to caching and background running, Chrome can end up taking huge amounts of space (check your battery stats if you don’t believe us, Chrome is usually the biggest battery drain on your phone after the operating system and screen).

The best low storage alternative to Chrome is Opera Mini, which comes in at around 15 MB of storage. A full-featured browser, Opera Mini will let you do anything that Chrome can do. The only downside is that if you’re a fan of cross-device syncing then you’ll need to install Opera on your PC as well as your phone.

The Google Alternatives

There are also a couple of great Google alternatives to some big storage apps. Microsoft’s Word suite has an app that is fantastic for working on presentations and papers on your phablet, but that app takes up 92 MB of storage. Switching to Google Docs, on the other hand, will give you all the same functionality (plus cloud storage) in a mere 25 MB.

If music is your thing, then the Spotify app could be eating up a chunk of your storage (coming in at around 93 MB). Moving over to Google Play Music will use just 35 MB of space, and still give you the same streaming services (at a cost, naturally), as well as massive amounts of cloud storage for your personal music collection.

And All the Rest…

Twitter users might be surprised to learn that the minimalistic social media service’s app actually uses up 70 MB of storage, which seems somewhat ironic. You can get around this by instead downloading the super streamlined SlimSocial for Twitter app, which takes up a tiny 1.5 MB of storage instead.

A big picture editor? PicsArt is one of the biggest photo editing apps around, popular due not just to its awesome editing functions, but also it’s social media element. But at around 73 MB, PicsArt isn’t exactly a lite app. A great alternative is Pixlr, which at just 32 MB is the absolute smallest photo editing app around (as well as one of the best).

If you use Microsoft Excel to keep track of budgeting, for example, then you’re using 84 MB of space. Switching over to Google Sheets will use just 25 MB, plus you get great cloud storage too. And if you’re still using Microsoft Outlook for your mail needs, then that’s 71 MB of space that could definitely be better used. Instead, download the tiny Aqua Mail, which at just 18 MB will let you collate all your email services into one, slim lined app.

Last, but not least, Skype is one of the most popular online communication apps, but it’s also pretty big, using up 70 MB of storage. Try instead switching to the official Skype Lite version, which at 50 MB isn’t exactly tiny itself, but every MB of space saved means less chance of that horrible “low storage” warning!

Simply by switching out some of your favourite apps for smaller alternatives, you can slim down your phone, giving you the extra space you need to keep all those precious pictures and emails!