Free With Limits

There are vanishingly few things that disappointed during Monday’s keynote, but Benjamin Mayo nailed one:

I want to touch on one thing for now, Photos. Finally, Apple will take responsibility for storing all of your photos and videos for a fee. The assets don’t have to sit in local storage, like they do today with Photo Stream. They all show in the app though, streaming off the server on-demand.

Well, it’s not that service itself, but…

5 GB is simply not enough. There is a magic to having “all of your photos, on all of your devices”. The stinginess of the free tier precludes anyone from even getting a small glimpse of this experience, without having to pay more.

Upgrading to substantially more storage is now very reasonable, but the free tier just feels so stingy to me, and the $0.99/month price for 20 GB of storage also feels a little nickel-and-dimey. I understand that there are loads of people that will pony up a buck a month for increased storage,1 and that Apple generates revenue by asking people to exchange money for goods and services, instead of exchanging their searches for “green wart on pinky toe” for ad money. I appreciate that. But 5 GB of storage just feels so weak in 2014.

From one perspective, it’s just a dollar a month to quadruple your storage. But from another, it’s “Really? You’re going to charge a dollar a month for enough storage to back up only up to a 16 GB iPhone?”.

  1. I’m probably going to spring for the 200 GB plan. ↥︎