Apple recently released a preview of the upcoming Apple Photos app. This new application replaces Aperture and iPhoto with a simple library manager and photo editor. This Free Photo Storage app is a very important aspect of the new Photos app is that Apple is going to change the way cloud photo storage is handled.
The new Photos app from Apple makes use of the new cloud photo storage library function that was just added in iOS 8.1. This new feature will let you sync all your photo collection complete with albums and edits across all the iDevices you have. However, you will need to share the iCloud storage with Photos and syncing and edits do not use the free image storage of 1,000 to 25,000 of the Photo Stream.
iCloud Free Photo Storage
The 5GB offered for free by Apple in iCloud is often not enough and for most users this means that they will have no extra room for photo collections. Apple suggests people to buy extra storage in the iCloud so they could sync and store their photos. Apple still allows users to use the old Photo Stream function and use the Photos app without iCloud Photo Library being turned on. However, it’s still uncertain if this option will remain available in the long run once Apple releases Photos to the public and how people will react when they will discover that the 5GB storage on iCloud is simply not enough for their collection of photos.
These days every Mac and iOS user receives a free 5GB storage on iCloud. This space probably holds backups from your device, your iCloud Mail, settings from apps that use iCloud and file in the iCloud Drive. If you use an iCloud mail account and iCloud backups, chances are that you’ve already seen the message “iCloud storage limit reached” and you had to delete something to free up some space.
The free account on iCloud will get even more populated if you turn on the iCloud Photo Library function. The photos in your iCloud storage under the album “All Photos” will be available on all your iDevices and iCloud.com. Recent iPhones take photos about 2.5MB in size, which actually means that the last 1,000 photos from the Photo Stream will take around 2.5GB out of the free 5GB offered by Apple. This means even more if the photos in your Photo Stream are shot with better cameras and won’t fit in the free storage on iCloud. The Photos app will inform you that you have to upgrade your iCloud account if the photo collection is way too big for the space you have.
This probably means that upgrading to the library also means upgrading your free iCloud account. This depends on every individual, how big the image files are and how much storage is available on iCloud. We wonder how many users will have to upgrade to paid storage to use this new feature. Apple sells 12GB storage space for $12 per year, 200GB for $48, 500GB for $120 and 1TB for $240 per year.
Apple still allows users to use the old My Photo Stream and use the new Photos app. If you do not choose to upgrade, you will still be capable to see the album “My Photo Stream” inside Photos but you won’t benefit from the new system from Apple of syncing and storing photos and a lot more. Apple says that you are able to turn off the iCloud Photo Library to get back your iCloud storage and use the old My Photo Stream. After you disable the option, your files will be kept on iCloud for 30 days in order for you to download the files.
It’s pretty safe to say that Apple Photos has changed the free photo storage policy. We’re curious how long people will be allowed to use the My Photo Stream function. Does this mean that everyone will be eventually forced to upgrade their iCloud account to sync their photos on the iCloud? It’s still unclear to say for sure and we probably won’t find out until the new app is released to the public. You could double the iCloud storage on your iDevices to 10GB but Yahoo offers 1TB for free and Amazon gives its Prime users unlimited Cloud Photo storage. Apple’s new cloud strategy looks like it’s outdated instead of leading everyone.
Images source: Photo 1, Photo 2