No, iOS 9 probably isn’t too big for your iPhone

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Unlike iOS 8 last year, iOS 9 shouldn't be much of a hassle to install.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple made two important changes to the way you install iOS 9 that will help out your storage space and probably your anxiety. If you’re like a lot of other people, you were pretty frustrated last year trying to install iOS 8. Your 16GB iPhone already has to store all your apps and photos, and it just seems downright greedy of Apple to ask you to install a software update that would take up even more space. This year’s update should be much smoother sailing.

iOS 9 went on a diet

First, Apple dramatically decreased the size of the update. iOS 8 was a 4.58GB update — over one-fourth of the space available to a measly 16GB iPhone. iOS 9 is a much slimmer 1.3GB.

Don’t be fooled by that either: the update won’t actually take up 1.3GB of space on your phone when all is said and done. The reason why software updates are so large is because they first have to download to the phone in their entirety while the old OS is running. Then once it installs and replaces the old OS, it takes up much less space.

Apple will temporarily remove apps for you

If 1.3GB is still too big of a download for you, Apple implemented a new feature to cater to those with even the most tightly packed devices. When you attempt to download iOS 9 and find that you don’t have enough free space for the download, your iPhone will offer to temporarily delete some of your apps. It’ll free up just enough for the download, then once iOS 9 is fully installed your iPhone will replace the apps it deleted.

Optional: Get old-fashioned

If you’re seriously lacking storage space and you don’t want to remove any of your apps — even if only temporarily — you can always take the old-fashioned route. Get out your handy Lightning connector, open iTunes and install iOS 9 with a tethered connection. When you install software updates through iTunes, they download to your computer instead and transfer over, thus avoiding being storage hogs.

You’re now armed and ready to install the latest and greatest iPhone, iPad and iPod touch software. Hopefully the changes Apple made this year are enough to get people on board faster than ever. iOS 9 is a terrific update that brings new apps, new features and significant performance and battery life improvements that you don’t want to miss out on. And you shouldn’t have to.