Apple, it's time to revamp your iCloud storage and pricingEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Every once in awhile, I'll see an old image of a comparison between microSD cards. I'm sure you've seen it. It shows how much a card used to hold, only in the megabytes, with a comparison to the 128GB option available today. "Look how far we've come!" it proclaims, or something like that. It's true, of course. We have come a long way in a pretty short period of time, and all of these things are going to just continue to get better.
Just look at our smartphones. We've gone from huge bricks, to devices that can twist like Transformers, to slates that get bigger and thinner every year. And at this point, manufacturers are aiming to get their devices as thin as possible, all the while bragging that they can achieve what they're aiming for.
When it comes to technology, things will always get better, more advanced, over time. It will get smaller, thinner, faster, or whatever else it can do given enough time. Who knows what our phones are going to do next. Curved displays will no doubt be part of the equation. Maybe 16GB will become the base storage option for mid-range devices, so that 32GB can become the standard for just about everything above that.
And maybe Apple will finally figure out cloud storage.
In Apple's defense, they've already figured out a good chunk of it, especially when it comes to iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, their two new operating systems launching later this year. In an effort to keep those within the ecosystem there, they've established iCloud Drive, which will allow people to access their files from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the internet. In other words, with iCloud Drive, you'll be able to save a file in your Documents folder, and you'll be able to access that same file from your iPhone or iPad, without having to use a third-party app of any kind.
I, technically, use iCloud every single day with writing apps, which also have apps available for iOS. However, there are some that I use every day that don't have as easy of access, and can only be obtained when I'm on my computer. That's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to iCloud Drive -- so I can get those files whenever I want.
However, there's one big reason I'm not really looking forward to iCloud Drive at all, and that's the fact that I'm going to be using the service so much more (I can tell), for so many more things, that I'm going to have to get more space. Right now I'm using the free 5GB option, and that's working well enough, but it's going to have to change soon if I want to keep using iCloud.
Simply put, as you can see from the upgrade options pictured above, the prices and the available storage options are ridiculous. They aren't a reflection of the current times. They aren't an improvement over the years. Microsoft and Google offer so much more space, for cheaper. Right now, I pay $9.99 per month, so about $20 more than the $100/year option from Apple, and not only do I get access to a suite of Office products (that I have to use, unfortunately), but I also get 1,024GB of cloud storage within OneDrive as well.
Not only that, but I've got an extra 100GB, 10GB and 3GB just for random things, like loyalty, or using the Camera Roll save option for the OneDrive app. Apple's standard, free 5GB is great for most users, and many people probably don't consider upgrading at all, but I know it's going to be something I have to do.
And that's why I think it's beyond time for Apple to change their pricing and available storage options. 50GB + 5GB for $100 a year is laughable at this point. If they really want to put a bigger focus on iCloud, especially with services like iCloud Drive, then they need to change their pricing and storage options. Either that, I know that I'm going to have to start using other cloud-based services full-time, iCloud Drive or not.
Do you use Apple's iCloud option on your iOS-based device/Mac, or have you opted to use another service, for the same reasons outlined above? How much cloud storage do you have access to right now, and for how much a month? Let me know!