Apple would really like you to start paying it for iCloud, and it’s rolling out a new promo to encourage users to get a taste for a bigger chunk of online storage. The new promotion applies to users who are currently taking advantage of the free iCloud storage tier, in an attempt to coax them into making more use of the paid services.
Currently, iCloud has four tiers of service. All users with an Apple ID get 5 GB of storage free, which can be used to store iOS backups, synchronize contacts and photos, save notes to share across other devices, and more. Apple also offers three paid tiers.
$0.99 per month gets you 50 GB of iCloud storage, while $2.99 upgrades that to 200 GB of storage. Finally, there’s a 2 TB tier, for $9.99 per month. Those on the 200 GB and 2 TB plans also get family sharing, allowing multiple users to take advantage of the same chunk of data.
Now, Apple Insider spotted, Apple is trying to encourage users to cough up each month. iOS has long flashed up a warning message to those using the 5 GB free option when they’re close to capacity, notifying them that they don’t have sufficient space in iCloud to back up their iPhone.
That message is being coupled with a promotion now, though. “You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up your iPhone. A 50 GB plan gives you plenty of space to continue backing up your iPhone,” the alert says. “Your first month is free and it’s just $0.99 each month after.”
Tapping into the iCloud settings allows users to upgrade to one of the three paid plans directly from their iPhone. All three of those plans offers the first month’s service for free. Current subscribers, however, do not appear to be getting the offer, and when we checked on a device which was still on a free account, but which had not received the prompt to upgrade, there was no sign of the trial.
It’s certainly an improvement, but even with the promotion it’s hard to see iCloud pricing as especially competitive. Google Drive, for example, offers 15 GB to its free users. However, it also allows users to upload as many photos as they like – albeit with some resolution limits – without counting those images against the data cap. iCloud, in contrast, uses that 5 GB for your photos, too.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that many people would love to see Apple make iCloud more competitive at WWDC 2018. After all, increasing reliance on the cloud – and people having a larger number of devices that they expect to access their content on ubiquitously – means that a backup and storage service is less of a nice-to-have and more like an essential part of managing devices today.