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.