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When Apple started the Retina Display ball rolling with high-resolution updates to its catalog, we eagerly headed over to the App Store to grab the latest and greatest versions of our favorite iWork and iLife apps. But as we waited for the little blue progress bars to disappear, we couldn't help but notice how much longer they took to complete. Just last night, it took over half an hour to download a 750mb app over Wi-Fi. In order to display those high resolution applications and have them look supreme on the Retina Display, the images have to get bigger, which means that the size of the apps have to go up, too. Pages went from 95.1 MB to 269 MB, and Numbers and Keynote packed on quite a few megabytes. What's worse: if you're updating these apps on the first-generation iPad or an iPad 2, they're taking up all the space on your device and you can't even take advantage of the fact that they're high resolution.
As developers began to update their own apps with Retina Display-optimized graphics, you might have noticed your iPad's storage filling up a bit quicker than you'd like. Here's a few examples of some of the bloat caused by our favorite apps:
ABC Player: 23.4 MB to 33.3 MB
Comix: 10.7 MB to 14.8 MB
eBay: 14.3 MB to 15.5 MB
Templates for Keynote Pro: 90.5 MB to 97.4 MB
Marvel: 17.1 MB to 35.3 MB
Asphalt 6 HD: 569 MB to 805 MB
Obviously, your mileage may vary but the average app increased by about 25 percent--and some as much as 100 percent--after its Retina injection.
So does this mean you need to start deleting apps to save valuable storage space? Depending on your iPad model and its capacity, probably. But the bulbous apps we're seeing in these early weeks might not necessarily be a sign of things to come. Apps built from the ground up for the third-generation iPad seem to be a bit trimmer--iPhoto clocks in at just 106 MB (iMovie weighs in at 404 MB) and Angry Birds Space HD is just 20 MB (somewhat larger than the 17.5 MB non-Retina Angry Birds Seasons HD, but significantly smaller than Angry Birds Rio HD, which was 27.3 MB)--presumably due to a greater degree of optimization.
That being said, it's a little surprising that Apple didn't upgrade the low-end iPad to 32 GB, something that we're almost certain to see with the next new iPad. Until then, however, if you're in the market for one of Apple's tablets, you might want to consider doubling down on your storage.