I got the prompt on my iPhone that I could save 17Gb of space by using iCloud Photos. For those that don’t know, the iCloud Photos service becomes your on-line photo library and syncs to whatever iCloud device you connect it to, such as your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
I decided to give it a go, but then realised that it would require me to also upload every single one of my over 33,000 photos on my Mac into their service (it creeps into the Apple Photos app by default once you sign up). My photo collection takes up around 350-400Gb on my local disk, so storing on-line with Apples pricing would cost $10 per month for 500Gb.
I also use Dropbox for which they charge $8.25 for 1Tb, twice the space, so doing the maths makes Apple twice as expensive as Dropbox. Given that these firms buy hard drives by the thousands and run them in massive server farms, paying $120 per year to Apple is was more than the price to buy a disk.
- Seagate Barracuda 1Tb internal disk is £35 at Amazon or around $45 USD
- Apple want me to pay $120 per year, which would buy me 2.6 drives, every year
How the effing heck can Apple charge such a stupidly expensive price for mass storage when they buy the drives with massive discounts?
Ok and now the rest.
The iCloud web based UI is about as helpful as using Windows 95. Whilst you can see photos in Albums the web UI gets seriously pissed off when the number of photos is more than a couple of screen fulls. And get this, if you decide you want to remove stuff from iCloud Photos, you CAN’T. You can’t right mouse click and delete an Album, and you CAN’T do Edit->Select All and then delete.
YES FOLKS – you can only delete from iCloud Photos ONE BY ONE!
I stopped the on-line sync when I realised the pricing and the terrible on-line UI. I could store all my photos on Dropbox for half the price, and I already have 750Gb of space on Dropbox available to use.
And then there’s Google photos, who charge $10 for 1Tb, slightly more than Dropbox, but less painful than Apple. But Google Photos is FREE for photos of up to 16Mb each, which covers 99% of the shots my camera outputs.
If you are considering Apple iCloud Photos, please think on, it’s expensive and difficult to use. The only way back is to cancel your subscription and let Apple randomly delete photos you uploaded. Try Google, try Dropbox, but ignore iCloud Photos.
Note: I have paid Apple thousands of pounds for iPhones, Macs, iPads and accessories, so generally an Apply fan-boi. I just got really pissed off with such a badly thought out approach to photo management. I also really hate Apple for killing Aperture.