iPad / iPhone App Usage Info

Posted by {"display_name"=>"greg", "login"=>"greg", "email"=>"greg@udon.org", "url"=>""} on June 28, 2011 · 4 mins read

I primarily use my iPad for Applications and a little bit for video. I use the VLC application to play video because it supports so many formats.

A couple of months ago, the space was filling up on the iPad and when I looked at iTunes it should all of it being used by the applications as I expected. The problem is determining how much space each application is using. In the App Store, each application lists the amount of space it takes but this is presumably for the executable itself and associated resources. The newspaper, magazine and other apps I use are downloading content that can't be included in those numbers.

After searching around, I didn't find much information on how this except for an interesting post by Greg Yardley on this subject. In that post, Greg points out a file that is created when you sync your iPad or iPhone with iTunes. This file appears to contain information on the space usage as well as the number of times you've run an application and the number of minutes you've run an app.

I've been doing some application development with Grails and reading this file this sounded like a good project for learning Grails. In addition to Grails, I'm using MySQL, jQuery and a great tool for presenting tables with jQuery called Datatables.

Usage Tool

I've posted an IOS usage tool on VMware's new Cloud Foundry service that parses the file created during an iTunes sync and shows the amount of space used by each application as well as the number of times you've run the app and minutes you've used it.

I don't store the data you upload so you can't come back and look at your data later. You'll also notice that the application name and author are not the same as displayed on your iPad or iPhone. For example, the Wall Street Journal app has a title of "ipad" and the author is "dowjones". I'm sure the Wall Street Journal title is stored somewhere but not in this file.

To use the tool, on the PC or Mac where you run iTunes, go to http://ipadbackup.cloudfoundry.com. Select the upload button and for Windows users, you'll want to browse to the directory: C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup. If you've just sync'd your iPad or iPhone, then pick the directory that was most recently created to get the latest backup. In that directory, select the file 3953d95b549560c2f4c7d7924480cb7fbf739dfe. Maybe someone can post the location of this file for Mac users as a comment to this post.

A screenshot with limited sample data is shown below.

I won't be surprised if this tool stops working at some point due to changes in iTunes or IOS. It's working with the file for my iPad with IOS 4.3 but with a first generation iPod Touch on 3.1.3 the file is not created.

Upload this file and the tool will display a table with the information about your apps. You can click on the title to sort by any of the numbers shown.

A note about Cloud Foundry - the Cloud Foundry service is currently in beta and they've had an overwhelming response for beta accounts and appear to be dealing with capacity issues. As a result, don't be surprised if you get Service Unavailable messages when you try to use the tool. Wait a few minutes and try again.