Friday, April 1, 2016

Need space on your iPhone? Try to rent a movie too big for your storage

A Reddit thread is claiming that for those of us—and there are many—who are running out of space on our iPhones, all we have to do is try renting The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Viola! Free space!

Early April Fools joke, or so we thought. But I loaded my iPhone 6 with music and movies until it was bursting at the gills and then attempted to rent Peter Jackson’s 6.83 gigabyte masterpiece. Lo and behold, I had gained almost 200 megs out of nowhere. Three more rentals and my overstuffed phone had gone from a meager 381 megs to a full 1.2 gigs of free space without having been asked for my login to pay for the movie. Free up space and I didn't spend a dime.

The exploit isn’t limited to Tolkien-based fantasy films—any rental attempt where the desired file is larger than your current free space seems to magically create hard drive space. Which begs the question: what on earth is it deleting? And why does it happen incrementally over many failed rentals instead of all at once?

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