iCloud storage vs. the other guys

As I wrote on twitter this AM my iCloud storage is full. Currently we have 200GB which I share amongst our Canada based family for $3.99/month. We switched to a family plan as soon as Apple allowed for storage sharing amongst families, so considering all the photos I take, it’s not surprising that we’ve almost used up our quota.

Unfortunately, Apple’s next available storage tier takes a giant leap to 2TB which costs $12.99. We’ll never use that much storage, and while their pricing is competitive, it isn’t cheap, and it feels odd to pay for something that we won’t use in full.

Though Google Drive hasn’t worked on my Mac for months, I thought it might be worth considering moving to them for photo storage, except that Google’s pricing is surprisingly more expensive at $13.99 for 1 TB.

Dropbox doesn’t allow for family sharing and its “teams” plan is $17.50/month for each user. It’s not designed for our needs.

Which leaves me considering OneDrive. For $8 a month you get 1TB of storage with Microsoft which includes an Office subscription. I’ve generally avoided Office for years, at least until I was forced to use excel, because design teams love to punish themselves by using it. With my text writing needs far better served by other more pared down software like iA Writer and Bbedit, I’m not sure what value having access to Office has to our family – the kids are forced to use Google for productivity.

That 1TB of storage is for 1 mobile device. For the whole family to use OneDrive we would need to upgrade to Office 365 Home which gives 6TB for 6 devices for $11/month.

I have no idea what the Onedrive experience is like but it’s an interesting value, especially considering it’s coming from Microsoft. I don’t think I’ve even used Windows for anything other than checking website compatibility years ago and most recently for logging into poorly developed HR systems.

But again, Microsoft is offering something we will never fully use.

So I have no answer other than an example of customer lock-in.