Apple’s new iPhone SE is the company’s cheapest handset ever at $399, but it comes with a drawback: only 16GB of storage.

For many, that is a pitiable amount, but it is one that Apple continues to offer and make immense profits off of. It’s really not enough storage to hold many apps, photographs or videos, but of course it’s a tempting option because it’s relatively affordable.

If you don’t want to spring for a more expensive version of the iPhone, you can make the 16 GB model work with a bit of effort if you just want a phone for basic calls, texting, social networking and picture-taking.  Power-users, who take dozens of photos every day should spend $100 more for the 64 GB model.

Google Photos will make your life easier with a 16 GB iPhone

It’s true, but it takes a bit of work. Signing up for Google Photos — a product we happen to like very much — will make it pretty easy to clear out your phone’s old pictures and videos without worrying about whether you’ll want to access them later.

Google Photos is not the only cloud storage service out there (Dropbox is a popular one, and of course there’s Apple’s very own iCloud), but it’s probably the easiest to use for people who just want to quickly free up some space on their iPhone. It’s also free.

The app will automatically back up any photo and video you take and associate them with your Google account, which is the same thing you might use to log into Gmail. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can view your entire library, whether the photos and videos are still on your iPhone or not. And you can download them back onto your device if you want to make sure you can always access certain memories.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the Google Photos app from the App Store and sign up for the service.
  • When you open the app for the first time, you’ll be guided through an initial setup that makes sure you understand how the backup works.
  • Once Google Photos is set up, you can easily use the app to delete a huge amount of old photos in one fell swoop. Go into settings by tapping the menu button at the upper left and selecting “Settings,” and then tap that huge “FREE UP SPACE” button. Note that this will only clear out photos and videos that have already been backed up to Google’s servers, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally getting rid of something you want.

Because nothing is ever quite as easy as it should be, there are a couple more steps before the media is truly deleted from your iPhone. You’ll then have to open your Photos app — not Google Photos, but the one that comes pre-loaded onto your iPhone.

  • Tap the “recently deleted” folder.
  • From there, type “select” on the upper right, select all and, finally, delete them all.
  • And you’re done. Your iPhone’s storage will likely be largely freed up at this point — until you fill it with more photos and videos and have to repeat the process.

Well, cheap doesn't always mean easy.

Adapted from an article by Damon Beres for the Huffington Post.

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