Warning: Apple wants to get you hooked on iCloud

Apple must think about this

warning apple wants to get you hooked on icloud

Photos, iCloud Drive, iCloud Backup, Mail, iWork documents, iOS backups, Apple offers to host all of these items safe and sound in the iCloud, but there’s a big problem…

Big storage, small capacity

Apple gives you just 5GB of space for free. Use more than that and you need to pay.

This quantity of storage is no way large enough. Just think about it; if you take 1,000 2MB images while on vacation (easy to do) then you will use just under 2GB of your free iCloud space. If you happen to make a PDF book of the best of them to share via iCloud Drive and iCloud email (stored in the iCloud) you can wave farewell to more space…

It all adds up.

Before very long you’ll find you must waste time deleting documents, backups, photos and Mail attachments just to try to stay inside the 5GB zone. 

Needing to do these boring tasks is a waste of time. I want to use my technology to achieve cool things – that’s why I use a Mac.

I don’t want to wrestle daily with my storage space sapping digital detritus just to stay inside iCloud’s low free storage limitations. I'm quite prepared to manage my usage, but I insist on being given reasonable capacity to get me started.

As the service integration expands, 5GB quite clearly isn't enough.


I’m happy to accept that you don’t need to use iCloud for your digital stuff – there are choices, and that’s great.

But those alternatives that do exist are not as well integrated within Apple’s operating systems. You just don’t get the ease of use you associate with Apple products.

These things dampen the user experience.

Please understand. I’m not moaning on my own behalf – I know I’m a heavy Apple user and I already pay for additional iCloud storage. It’s not about me.

What concerns me is that as Apple integrates increasing number of services within iCloud customers are in danger of being forced to cough up cash for services they didn’t know they needed.

All those iPhone backups, documents, pictures and other digital things will quickly consume that 5GB of space. Perhaps that’s Apple’s plan, but it’s a poor plan if you compare it to the more generous allowances offered by competitors in the online services sector.

Particularly when you consider the extent to which iCloud integrates (and is essential) to its platforms. These services should support platform sales, not disincentive them.


I think Apple should consider these tweaks to the service to get past this problem before it becomes a problem:

Increase storage to 10GB

10GB is still too low, but it should be enough for the rest of us.

Incremental storage

Apple can easily figure out when I add a new Apple product to my iCloud, each of these needs backup space, so why not increase storage each time a new purchase is made? iCloud storage is soon filled up when you use multiple iOS devices.

Better storage controls

I still don’t know how granular Photos’ iCloud storage will be – from what I’ve seen it appears an all or nothing system. Some things I will want in iCloud, others matter less.

Whatever Apple does in most parts of its business focuses on putting customers first. Everything it has learned during its great turnaround shows customer loyalty is the real currency.

Treat customers nice and the money will follow.

That’s Apple’s North Star.

As iCloud becomes inextricably linked to Apple’s user experience, that 5GB free storage limitation dims the brightness of that star. That's not good enough.

Dear Apple, please think different when it comes to iCloud storage.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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