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Apple Releases New iCloud Storage Plans

In the past, if you wanted more than the free 5 GB of iCloud storage for iCloud mail, backups, and documents, you could add 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year, or 50 GB for $100 per year. Those prices and storage quantities sound downright quaint today, given the forthcoming iCloud Drive that will provide personal cloud storage in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, and the competitive landscape for online file sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Apple’s new plans are:

  • 5 GB for free (no change)
  • 20 GB for $0.99 per month
  • 200 GB for $3.99 per month
  • 500 GB for $9.99 per month
  • 1 TB for $19.99 per month

Those who previously paid for more storage have had their accounts automatically upgraded to a new tier, complete with prorated refunds. Since those previous plans were annual, Apple is grandfathering them in at that frequency; if you change to a new plan, it will be billed monthly and you can’t switch back to annual billing.

You can upgrade the storage levels from your Mac (in the iCloud pane of System Preferences, click Manage Details, and then Buy More Storage) or your iOS device (tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Buy More Storage).

Although these changes are welcome, especially for those who anticipate using iCloud Drive heavily, Apple still isn’t particularly competitive with other major cloud storage providers. Dropbox offers only 2 GB of free space to start, but provides free ways of increasing that to 18 GB or more. In addition, the company’s 1 TB Dropbox Pro account costs only $9.99 per month. Google Drive provides 15 GB of free space, and also offers 1 TB of space for $9.99 per month.

It’s also worth remembering that Dropbox and Google Drive are not only cheaper, but far more useful for online file sharing and collaboration.


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Comments about Apple Releases New iCloud Storage Plans
(Comments are closed.)

Hulaka  2014-09-10 11:46
Dropbox is cheaper at 1TB/9.99$, but I don't need 1TB. 200 GB is plenty of space for me, so 4$/month is actually better plan for my needs, and I end up paying less.
Neil Gordon  2014-09-10 14:00
These new rates are now available.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-09-10 16:07
Updated now. Thanks!
Minus van Baalen  2014-09-11 01:36
For those who fear for their privacy, there is also SpiderOak to consider, for backup, synchronisation and sharing. Not well integrated with iOS, but it works OK with OS X. First 2 GB free.
You mention that other cloud services offer better sharing and coloration. What about how they work?

I wanted to to delete some files from iCloud. How hard should that be? I had to go into System Preferences to accomplish that— inconvenient and unintuitive. Maybe there's a better way.

In short I find Dropbox's file management more to my liking since I can see what I'm doing.
Bill Bennett  2014-09-12 18:56
Is there a solid argument for choosing iCloud ahead of, say, Dropbox?

I know I can store my music in iCloud and sync it with my devices. That's nice, but not necessarily essential. What else matters?
Tommy Weir  2014-09-14 05:24
I now have 1Tb with Dropbox, I was going to jump wholesale to iCloud Drive if Apple
1. Met the new Dropbox price
2. Proved reliable over a few months.

But I think, given that iOS 8 can access a variety of online storage providers and not just iCloud, I will throw my lot in with Dropbox and keep my grandfathered 25Gb plan for iCloud just for settings and so on.

At some point a clear route for photography will become clear.