200 GB iCloud Storage for Students; What About the Rest of Us?

In Apple’s educational event yesterday, the company said that students would get 200 GB iCloud storage for free. I own – let’s see… – seven iOS devices and Macs, and I only get 5 GB.

Only students whose accounts are set up via schools will get this expanded storage, but it really is a kick in the teeth to all those users who have multiple devices and have to pay for extra storage just to back them up. Apple constantly touts how great the cloud is, but what would it cost them to increase the free tier to, say, 50 GB? And how much easier would it be for users? Lots of people don’t back up their devices rather than deal with the hassle of paying for extra storage. (I know, it’s only a buck a month, but still, this is friction for many people.)

And 200 GB is a lot of data. The only way students will use that much is if they may scads of videos. You couldn’t fill up 200 GB with photos very easily; that would be about 40,000 raw images at 50 MB each, or nearly one million images shot with an iPhone in HEIC format.

I’ve written about this countless times. That 5 GB was huge when it was first introduced back in 2011, but we stored much less data in the cloud back then, and bandwidth was such that retrieving it – at least on mobile devices – was expensive. But now that people have years of photos, and many people have multiple devices – say, a Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad – it just makes Apple look stingy.

Bad Apple #1: iCloud Photo Library Re-uploading – TidBITS

However, there’s a nasty side effect of turning iCloud off and back on: iCloud Photo Library needs to re-upload all your photos. It does this in order to compare the library’s contents to the synchronization “truth” at iCloud. Fair enough, except that this process can take days, depending on the size of your Photos library and the speed of your Internet connection. Bad Apple! We don’t see that sort of poor performance with Dropbox or Google Drive, and this behavior is both unnecessary and driving people away from iCloud Photo Library.

I’ve had iCloud issues, and, when Apple support suggested I turn off iCloud and turn it on again, I refused. Because the last time I did that, I had to upload some 30 GB of photos, and it took a week. My photo library is now around 45 GB, and I have a 1 Mbps upload.

Adam suggests that not all the data is uploaded, but I watched it cripple my internet access for a week, since I could only allow it to upload overnight.

This doesn’t happen with iTunes Match or iCloud Music Library; they need to fix this.

Source: Bad Apple #1: iCloud Photo Library Re-uploading – TidBITS

Master the Cloud with Take Control of iCloud, Sixth Edition

TCoiCloud 6 0 coverIf you use a Mac or an iOS device, you probably use iCloud. It manages your photos and music, it syncs your contacts and calendars, and you can use it to store files, maintain secure passwords, send and receive email, and much more.

iCloud is a simple idea in theory—access to all your data on all your devices, via the cloud—that can become complicated when put into practice. Instead of wasting time fiddling with iCloud, when there are many other more important things to be done with the information it contains, learn how to minimize frustrations with Take Control of iCloud, Sixth Edition.

Whether you want a quick tip or a deep dive into the inner workings of iCloud, you’ll find what you need in this best-selling book by Mac expert Joe Kissell. Start by learning what iCloud can do, how it differs from other cloud services, and how best to set it up on Macs, iOS devices, Apple TVs, and Windows-based PCs.

This book covers:

  • Photo features: iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Family Sharing
  • iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library
  • iCloud Drive
  • Mail and Mail Drop
  • Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Notes
  • iCloud Keychain
  • the iCloud Website
  • Location features: Find My iPhone, Find My Mac, and Find My Friends
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Activation Lock
  • Back to My Mac
  • Backing up and restoring data

In this new edition, Joe also looks at what has changed in iCloud with the release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11, including new abilities to share storage space with family members using iCloud Family Sharing, sync your People album across devices with iCloud Photo Library, and sync data from additional Apple apps like Health and Siri. Joe explains the new Files app (which replaces the iCloud Drive app on iOS), and important changes to two-factor authentication rules and Activation Lock.

Get Take Control of iCloud, Sixth Edition and learn how to get the most out of iCloud.

Hey Apple, Fix This: iCloud Photo Library’s sync need fixing

I love iCloud Photo Library. It’s brain-dead simple to use (unlike iCloud Music Library), and it ensures that all my photos are in sync on all my devices. Lately, having bought a new camera, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures, and I’ve been wanting to view them and edit them on my iPad, with Enlight or Affinity Photo, a powerful photo editing app that was highlighted in Apple’s recent WWDC keynote. But syncing from my iMac, where I import photos, to my other devices can take a long time.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that my upload speed is slow. Since I shoot both RAW and JPEG, Photos has both files in its library for each picture, and together they take up about 25MB. So if I import a bunch of photos, there’s a lot of data to upload.

And Photos doesn’t let you control its upload, at least not easily.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

Apple Slashes iCloud Storage Price (at the High End).

Apple has cut the 2 TB top tier for iCloud storage from $19.99 to $9.99. Previously, there were four tiers: 50 GB for $0.99 per month, 200 GB for $2.99, 1 TB for $9.99, and 2 TB for $19.99. Now, there are only three tiers, with the top price cut in half:

Lower icloud storage price

This is great for those who do use a lot of iCloud storage, but it looks a bit unbalanced, with two low-capacity tiers, then the third tier jumping to ten times the second one.

I still hope that Apple increases the free iCloud storage tier, so users with multiple devices can back them up. Maybe this price change is a step in that direction, and with the release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra in the fall, we’ll see a change.