Thursday, 11 September 2014 13:03

Apple cuts iCloud storage fees


Apple has reduced the price of iCloud storage ahead of the introduction of iCloud Drive.

One of the criticisms of Apple's iCloud online service has been the price charged for storage beyond the basic 5GB.

But Apple has substantially reduced its charges and added new 500GB and 1TB plans.

The new rate card is 20GB, $15.48; 200GB, $59.98; 500GB, $155.88; and 1TB, $299.88. Apple is making pro rata refunds to customers who prepaid past the introduction of the new rates.

In terms of raw capacity for the dollar, this still isn't very impressive.

For example, Google provides 15GB free, then charges $26 for 100GB or $130 for 1TB (approximate prices after conversion to A$).

Similarly, Microsoft's OneDrive comes with 15GB free, then costs $24 for 100GB or $48 for 200GB.

The attraction of iCloud storage for iOS and OS X users is its tight integration with operating system and application features.

iCloud synchronises contacts, calendars, notes and passwords (among other things) between the standard apps on iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as providing cloud access to contacts, calendars and more.

Third-party developers are also able to take advantage of iCloud storage.

The change comes ahead of the introduction of iCloud Drive, a feature that lets users treat iCloud storage as if it were a folder on their device. This is arguably the reintroduction of the old iDisk feature from Apple's former .Mac service.

Another forthcoming feature likely to dramatically increase demand for iCloud storage is iOS 8's new Photo app and the associated iCloud Photo Library that provides synchronisation and storage of all photos and videos taken on the user's devices, up to the selected iCloud storage quota - you can't store very many 8MP images in 5GB.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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