Picking the right iPad Air 5 storage size for your needs and budget could be tricky. In this guide we want to help you decide between the cheapest option and the more expensive variant.
You might be tempted to go with the cheapest iPad Air 5 or shell out for the model with the most storage. Unlike many other Apple products, these are the only two options available so you’ll need to choose wisely.
One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of you will probably wind up paying for more storage one way or another. You’ll either spend the money up front when buying your new iPad Air, or you’ll pay a monthly fee for additional storage via Apple’s iCloud service.
- iPad Air 5 Storage Options
- Pay for Storage Today or Later
- Who Should Buy the 64GB iPad Air 5?
- Who Should Buy the 256GB iPad Air 5?
- How to Check Your iPad’s Storage
There are several important factors to consider before you settle on one of these iPad Air 5 storage options and we’ll break down all of the things you need to consider in this guide.
iPad Air 5 Storage Options
There are only two iPad Air 5 storage options: 64GB and 256GB. The 64GB model starts at $599. If you want to add 5G connectivity, you’ll need to shell out $749. As for the 256GB model, it starts at $749 and the 5G version will run you $899.
If you don’t want to pay full price, you can save money if you have a tablet to trade-in. Retailers and carriers also offer occasional discounts to help subsidize the cost.
While you can add additional storage to some Android tablets, the iPad Air 5 doesn’t come with a microSD card slot. If you want to add additional storage you’ll need to use iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.
Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
If you plan to shoot 4K video, download a bunch of movies for travel, or play a ton of games on your iPad Air, you’ll need quite a bit of space.
While 64GB might seem like enough, there’s a good chance it’ll fill up quickly and you’ll be forced to continuously delete files, buy a compatible drive, and/or pay for iCloud storage.
Fortunately, iCloud is fairly inexpensive. You can get 50GB of cloud storage for as little as a dollar a month:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
As a reminder, you can share iCloud storage with your family members.
Who Should Buy the 64GB iPad Air 5?
The 64GB iPad Air 5 is worth a look if you don’t want to shell out a ton of cash for a high-powered iPad. It’s also worth considering if you don’t plan on using your iPad Air for intense work.
Here are a few reasons to consider going with the 64GB iPad Air 5:
- You’re on a budget.
- You stream most of your movies and music.
- You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
- You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
- You come nowhere close to using 64GB of storage on your current devices.
Who Should Buy the 256GB iPad Air 5?
While the cheapest option might seem like the way to go, a lot of people should opt for the 256GB model, if only for the peace of mind the extra space provides.
Here are a few reasons to go with Apple’s 256GB iPad Air 5:
- You like to store movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot 4K content.
- You’re using more than 64GB of space on your current device(s).
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your device(s).
How to Check Your iPad’s Storage
If you’re currently using an iPad, you should check your current storage before you decide. You should be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPad Storage.
This will show you how much free storage you currently have and how much you are using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be your photos and videos, apps, and messages.
If your iPad is a year old, you should still have around 50% of your storage left. If you are within 10-15% of its capacity, you should consider more storage.
If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.
Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3 update right away.
iOS 16.3 brings 12 new security patches (including one for the Weather app) with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software comes with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to hold off on installing iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.