Here’s what’s strange. Apple’s iCloud storage plan is a maximum of 2TB — even for the whole family. My wife’s iPad has 2TB of storage. You can get MacBook Pro and Mac Studios with up to 8TB on board, and that doesn’t even count the storage you add via Thunderbolt.
Apple users are all about creating content. The notable feature that separates the new iPhone models from each other, year after year, is the improvements to the camera systems. Expectations are that the iPhone 14 will support 8K video.
The video takes up a lot of storage space. The last few YouTube videos took up about seven or eight gigabytes, and I had videos that took up more than 50 gigabytes. Individual clips can easily be one gigabyte or more in size, especially when captured in 4K.
iCloud storage is an integral part of the Apple ecosystem. Apple uses it to make sure you don’t run out of storage space on your phone or laptop, sending proxies of video and photos to your device when space is small using a feature called Optimize iPhone Storage. It does the same for Documents and Desktop folders, using a feature called Optimizing Desktop Storage.
iCloud is supposed to be the storage center for all of your Apple-related activities. Apple has expanded that to entire families with Family Sharing, so the whole family has enough storage space to hold all those photos, videos, and files.
also: Mac Studio vs. Mac Pro and Mac mini: Apple delivers maximum power
Each owner of an Apple device gets 5 GB of storage space. For some people, this is more than enough. But if you need more storage, you can upgrade through tiers by paying for iCloud +:
iCloud + adds some extra features other than storage space. These include:
- iCloud Private Relayincomplete IP proxy service (still in beta) works only in Safari,
- Hide my email: Service to hide email addresses,
- HomeKit Safe Videowhich connects the cameras and stores videos securely (although the reason this is an upgrade and not for everyone, I have no idea), and
- Custom email domainwhich allows you to associate a custom domain name with your iCloud mail accounts.
To be honest, I’m not too impressed with what seems to be a bunch of random services thrown around to add weight to the package. Since you’ve got the storage, the rest is some relatively thin and flavorless meat broth.
Personally, I pay for the higher tier iCloud+ and so far, that’s enough. But that’s because I moved three years of video files from iCloud last year to free up some space. This process didn’t go well and I eventually lost some videos because I didn’t realize until it was too late that the clips pulled from Photos didn’t make it to my hard drive before I deleted them from Photos. Fortunately, most of it was raw video already used for my YouTube projects, so it wasn’t a disastrous loss.
But now, my wife is starting to record more videos. It was only occasionally used to depict our dog’s charming behaviors, and that was the case. But she launches an active YouTube channel, and so she makes hundreds of recordings. By the end of the year, we’ll be out of our 2TB allotment completely at the rate you’re going.
And there’s nowhere to go (or so it seems unless you read through to the end of this article). Apple does not promote additional levels. This is completely uncompetitive with other cloud storage providers. for me ZDNet Friend Stephen Vaughan Nichols put together a piece of the top nine cloud storage providers. Each one has more storage levels than Apple.
also: 9 Best Cloud Storage Services of 2022
With iCloud as an integral part of Apple’s ecosystem, and a huge part of Apple’s value is its photo and video capabilities, this hard limit of 2TB proves to be a problem. Just ask the Applehairclubpresident user (you can’t make up this stuff), who posted on Apple Support Forums:
How to get an extra 2TB for not too cheap
Fortunately, there is a mysterious way to add an extra 2TB of storage. You will need:
- Your iCloud + plan has maxed out, and
- Subscribe to Premier Apple One
First, we need to talk about the Apple One. Apple One is different from iCloud +. Apple One brings all of these services together in one package:
also: Free Apple One with every iPhone? Services strategy to destroy Android
If you already use all of Apple’s services, the Apple One is a pretty good deal. But if you’re not, it’s going to be a bit pricey — especially if all you want to do is get more storage.
Let’s say you’re already subscribed to iCloud + and are working for 2TB hard limit. It turns out that if you subscribe to the most expensive Apple One bundle, with 2TB of iCloud+ storage, 2TB adds up to the 2TB you already have. This, on top of your existing iCloud + plan, gives you 4TB of total storage space.
How do we know that? Apple says so. If you search the Apple Support note, What happens to your iCloud storage when you sign up for an Apple One, you’ll see the following at the bottom of the page.
You’ll end up spending an extra $30 a month to double the storage you’re paying $10 a month right now. But if you reach the limit and need more storage, you have reached the limit, and you need more storage.
Apple doesn’t talk about this much, and all the information posted leads people to think that the 2TB limit is a tough limit. But for those with little money and a little desperation, there is an option. So now you know.
How much storage do you use on your iCloud plan? Do you think you will exceed the 2TB limit? Do you think it’s crazy that Apple doesn’t have the affordable 5TB and 10TB plans like all of its competitors? If so, let us know in the comments below.
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