One App You Need If You Want The New, Cheap iPhone

This will make your life easier.

Apple's new iPhone SE is the company's cheapest handset ever at $399, but it comes with a serious drawback: Its storage is a paltry 16 GB.

That's a pathetic hard drive and 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. Tim Stenovec writes on Tech Insider that "most people" shouldn't bother with it, but we think the device can work for penny-pinchers who really just want a phone for basic calls, texting, social networking and picture-taking.

It's not the right choice for people who take dozens of photos every day in-between "Hearthstone" sessions, though. Power-users should spend $100 more for the 64 GB model.

But if you must get the 16 GB iPhone, so be it: Just download Google Photos.

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.

Yeah, it's kind of a pain in the butt, but no one said being cheap is easy. 

iPhone SE Photos