iCloud backup is not enough as an iOS developer

Not enough storage
Why Apple, why?

More often than not, I find this alert greeting me: I’ve reached my iCloud storage limit again.

You get 5GB free, but you share those for all the devices tied into your Apple ID. In my case, here’s the list:

  • 32GB iPad mini – testing device, but used for reading, browsing, videos,… while not working
  • 32GB iPhone 4S – main phone so far
  • 32GB iPhone  5 – next main phone, used to test the iOS7 betas this summer
  • 8GB iPod 4G – testing only
  • MacBook Pro

That’s not counting the older devices I never use anymore.

Backups don’t include the OS or the installed Apps, but the rest of the data can easily surpass 5GB with this many devices. You can opt to not backup some parts like your Camera Roll or iBooks, but then what’s the point of backing up. The other option is to pay for more storage.

iCloud storage plans
iCloud storage plans

I don’t think the storage plans are that expensive (although they are, compared to Dropbox and others), but considering I roughly buy a new iPhone and iPad each year, that’s over $1000 for Apple. If you renew your computer every 2-3 years, duplicate that (those new retina MacBooks are expensive). Throw in another $100 for the developer program, although that’s peanuts compared to the hardware cost.

It’s not crazy to think Apple could offer you an extra 5GB for each new device. Even expiring the extra space after a couple of years would be enough.

Then again, a lightning cable is more expensive than the 10GB plan.

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