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Cannot Download

There is not enough available storage to download "<APP>". You can manage your storage in Settings.

My brother gets this error message when we go to install a large app from the App Store. He has 1.2 GB free and the app is ~600 MB. Why is it doing giving us this error, and do I really need to clear more space? What else could be wrong?

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The size listed on the App Store is for the actual IPA, which is nothing but a zip file, the contents of which are compressed. The install size can be double or even more, depending on the app and its contents.

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I'm not disputing your assertion, but I tested several .ipa files, and their contents were the same size as the file itself. I was told that the reason there are space issues when installing large files is because iOS needs the swap space, so an app needs slightly more than twice the space as its size to install for that reason. (It's the same concept as copying a ZIP file to a drive and then unzipping it. It needs at least as much space as it is large in order to copy.) –  Dave Aug 30 '13 at 2:08
    
Whomever told you those facts, is wrong. Consult iOS for usage data (iOS 6+). Settings > General > Usage. That will show how much space each app takes on your device. Look at Bastion, which the system lists as 1.2 GB, but the App Store states 568 MB. Infinity Blade II is better, but still off (1.2 GB on disk and 1.1 GB in the App Store). Dead Trigger is a 180 MB download, but a 290 MB install. All three don't have large documents (~100 KB), i.e., save files, cache, etc. As with all file types, some compress well, others do not (hence the size difference). Nothing to do with swap space. –  cksum Sep 1 '13 at 3:44
    
Also swap space is reserved for program memory and not equal to a temp folder (where iOS would presumably unpack the contents of the zip). They are two very very different things (and shouldn't be used interchangeably). –  cksum Sep 1 '13 at 3:45
    
Semantics aside, as a rule of thumb, when I install apps, I need slightly more than file size x 2 to complete the install. Whether it is due to "swap space" (my term), or call it something else... really doesn't matter to me. –  Dave Sep 1 '13 at 3:49
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