For Apple's revamped photo experience to work, iCloud changes are needed

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  • Reply 61 of 161

    The problem is Apple fails at the cloud. They never developed their own cloud storage, they buy Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage and Amazon S3. You can easily see your Mac and iPhone connecting to their servers. This means they're paying Amazon rates... about 2.75 cents / GB*Month and about the same per GB downloaded from the cloud.

     

    If you run the numbers, iCloud storage is already operating at a loss. The $3.99 200 GB plan costs up to $5.50 in storage, not counting traffic.

     

    The problem is that Apple has forgotten how to pay technical "taxes". You don't have great UX because you developed cheap cloud storage. You have great UX enabled by cheap cloud storage. What makes Google good at these things is that they have no problem spending big bucks on everything they can think of, which includes purely technical aspects, that eventually trickle down into products. Apple is too focused on products and when other people can't provide the foundation (like ARM, Imagination, Qualcomm, etc.), they fail.

  • Reply 62 of 161
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    I haven't signed in for years, but this post required it. The imminent release of Photos is causing a lot of confusion in regarded to how required it will be to buy iCloud space if your photos library is large, and what will happen if you don't. I switched over many friends and family years ago, and they come to me with guidance on all things apple. It's been great that I no longer get incessant calls asking for MS computer help from several people. But with the advent of iCloud and backups these calls have started again. With Photos even I am confused about how iCloud will work with it if you don't purchase more space for large photo libraries. If the experience is not seamless or if it will be required to purchase additional space to get photos to sync similar to how photostream works, I will begin searching out the best third party photo solution, since all that is needed is the ability to store, easily browse, and auto sync photos. Personal management of iCloud is a bit confusing I think, and as the writer noted, much of the confusion wouldn't be evident if more space were given to each user. This would make a much better experience for everyone and bring Apple to par with Google and Amazon.

    I can't disagree many are confused and more space is needed as part of the starter pack as it were.

    I would add you can run Photos OS X locally for your main library and just share some selections from that library across devices, for me it's for Apple TV mostly, and have iPhones and iPad set up upload and transfer to the Mac. That's how I am running it. It is very flexible. So in a nutshell, Mac downloads but doesn't upload other than manually shared albums, iDevices can upload everything. That way the Mac is the mothership rather than the iCloud which is used for the distribution and sharing. You can even have additional Macs operating like the iDevices so that only one is the mothership.

    This of course, still leaves said mothership requiring back up and here is where no online services I have tried yet meets my requirements for RAW support, very high speed and inexpensive. Then I am not a normal user. In truth I still use Aperture mostly but I like Photos too despite its limitations, it has many advantages. I have a daily clones made on hard drives and take additional clones off site weekly currently. This is archaic so I look forward to some professional online backup system one day soon I hope.
  • Reply 63 of 161
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    konqerror wrote: »
    The problem is Apple fails at the cloud. They never developed their own cloud storage, they buy Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage and Amazon S3. You can easily see your Mac and iPhone connecting to their servers. This means they're paying Amazon rates... about 2.75 cents / GB*Month and about the same per GB downloaded from the cloud.

    If you run the numbers, iCloud storage is already operating at a loss. The $3.99 200 GB plan costs up to $5.50 in storage, not counting traffic.

    The problem is that Apple has forgotten how to pay technical "taxes". You don't have great UX because you developed cheap cloud storage. You have great UX enabled by cheap cloud storage. What makes Google good at these things is that they have no problem spending big bucks on everything they can think of, which includes purely technical aspects, that eventually trickle down into products. Apple is too focused on products and when other people can't provide the foundation (like ARM, Imagination, Qualcomm, etc.), they fail.

    I think you underestimate Tim. First I highly doubt Apple pay anything like the rates you mention. Secondly if it were more cost effective Apple would have done that and may well at some point. It is like manufacturing, Tim knows how to manage resources to the maximum advantage.
  • Reply 64 of 161
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Reply 65 of 161
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pigybank View Post



    Brilliant. Well written, and spot on!



    Concur. You can't sell people the "best products available" without acknowledging that many, if not practically all, are not particularly intelligent.

     

    I've been a mac user since 1993. I freely admit there are features in Apple products and OS's that I don't know how to use. I think most people are like that with any technology. Face it - if any new gadget needs an owners manual, it is failed technology.

     

    The article's points about the prices of storage are well taken. A 3TB drive can now be had for <$100. While most people aren't particularly intelligent, I think they can do the math on that. I do hope Photos will ultimately allow me to make a universally accessible drive at home. 

  • Reply 66 of 161

    Agree with those who are arguing for free ICloud backup for the entire contents of mobile devices,  in addition to backup for contacts, email, calendar,  reminders, device settings. You pay a hefty premium to Apple already for increased storage on iPhones and iPads. However, management of large document, music, photo and video libraries raises other issues. I use iTunes  Match to make my music collection available wherever I go and on whatever device I'm using. The cost is reasonable. If Apple were to offer a similar option for photos and videos, I would also expect a cost. What I would prefer would be a service that would allow me to easily decide which parts of my photo and video collections to put into the cloud. With ITunes match it's all or nothing (I think). With documents, photos and videos, I think a lot of users would prefer to be selective in what goes into the cloud, and the cautious user would also maintain separate backups. Perhaps some Apple users would welcome a complete cloud backup option for their laptop or desktop hard drives. Not me. In addition to the fees that Apple might charge for this kind of service, you'd also be looking at the increased cost for data uploads that your internet provider would impose. 

  • Reply 67 of 161



    Capitalists don't want 'free'?  Puhleeese.

  • Reply 68 of 161
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    Socialists. *womp womp*




    Capitalists don't want free?  Puhleeese.

  • Reply 69 of 161
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Beluga View Post



    having it totally free would need a huge investment in storage from apples side and I dont see it as a viable solution.

     

    Can someone please explain to me  (like I'm a 5 year old)  how yahoo/flickr can offer 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) to anyone for free, but Apple has to charge, what I think are, exorbitant prices.  What's missing here?  I don't get it. There has to be some logical explanation, but I just don't see it.    :\ 

  • Reply 70 of 161
    Originally Posted by Sociable Weaver View Post

    Capitalists don't want free?  Puhleeese.



    I’m confused how you’d make money with ‘free’.

     

    Originally Posted by newbee View Post

    how yahoo/flickr can offer 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) to anyone for free, but Apple has to charge, what I think are, exorbitant prices.



    Speaking of capitalism, I just had a thought about a business model. Apologies that it’s not a direct answer to your question, but it’s somewhat relevant.

     

    Imagine a site that goes the Flickr route and offers storage for your photos. This site offers only one amount of storage, for free, and a paid amount of the same capacity. The free storage comes with terms of service that state your photos may be taken and offered to third parties as background images, sources for data, and/or for use in photo manipulation to be used for marketing (and profitable) purposes. Thus, the free storage would be paid through the use of the contents, without compensation to the content creator.

     

    The paid storage, however, would do the same thing. Rather, the images could still be chosen by the third parties for profitable use, but the content creator would be allowed to choose whether or not this happens. If the content creator chooses to allow his photos to be used, he would receive a portion of the profits of all products and services that use his photos. If not, the third parties will have to pick something else.

     

    I dunno; it might work.

  • Reply 71 of 161
    Haven't much issue with iCloud but admit I'm not real clear in the difference between that and iCloud Drive. Have to look into that.

    I don't see the point of making a large amount free. 5 is plenty for the basics. Want more, pay for it. No different than saying they should charge less for their phones. Why? Cheaper services are priced as a marketing tool to pull you into their system. Apple doesn't need that.

    I do hate that I have to pay monthly now. I preferred paying yearly as it's easier to account for.
  • Reply 72 of 161
    I think iCloud is still evolving and I'll just wait until it's "ready." But I agree with the Stephen's critique over ease of use.

    As for making the service easier = "unlimited" storage, it's not clear Apple should do that. Users are acclimated to paying for finite storage in physical media (hard drives, memory cards, etc). Users are acclimated to the fuss of managing those devices (I.e., having to unmount volumes before removing them, managing file systems, etc). It seems that Apple iCloud is a vision of cloud storage where you data invisibly lives, and is accessible through all your devices in the context of the device or app. On iOS the file system isn't even exposed to users--and parts of iCloud try to mimic that. It seems that if the only decision point iCloud users have to think about is to pay to upgrade storage, it's still much simpler and invisible than cloud solutions that appear in your file system as another mounted volume (or Windows drive letter) for users to manage.
  • Reply 73 of 161
    Some of you majored in wishful thinking instead of economics.
  • Reply 74 of 161
    I generally like iCloud. I use it for my documents and back ups all the time. It really isn't that hard to use or to figure out. iTunes match however is another story. It's a complete nightmare to use. It is laggy, loses my files all the time and is generally unresponsive. Streaming using iTunes match is laggey even with high-speed network.
    iTunes locking up for extended periods of time while it updates is a real pain in the butt when iTunes Match running. I just stopped using it all together and now just use Spotify. It is very responsive and has all the songs I could possibly want on it. Apple has really missed the boat in streaming media. At this point they would have to offer something incredibly special for me to think of getting rid of Spotify.
  • Reply 75 of 161
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    samiam wrote: »
    I generally like iCloud. I use it for my documents and back ups all the time. It really isn't that hard to use or to figure out. iTunes match however is another story. It's a complete nightmare to use. It is laggy, loses my files all the time and is generally unresponsive. Streaming using iTunes match is laggey even with high-speed network.
    iTunes locking up for extended periods of time while it updates is a real pain in the butt when iTunes Match running. I just stopped using it all together and now just use Spotify. It is very responsive and has all the songs I could possibly want on it. Apple has really missed the boat in streaming media. At this point they would have to offer something incredibly special for me to think of getting rid of Spotify.

    I have none of the issues you mention with iTunes Match. I'd be tempted to delete everything, sign out and start over, it doesn't take long even with a massive library.
  • Reply 76 of 161
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    newbee wrote: »
    Can someone please explain to me  (like I'm a 5 year old)  how yahoo/flickr can offer 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) to anyone for free, but Apple has to charge, what I think are, exorbitant prices.  What's missing here?  I don't get it. There has to be some logical explanation, but I just don't see it.    :\  

    Well I don't know the whole story but I do know my 'Free Flickr' account adds ads every few pictures if I try running a slide show of my own images. I am new to Flickr so i have no idea what else it gets up to.
  • Reply 77 of 161
    Excellent article and I completely agree.
  • Reply 78 of 161
    I agree that Apple's default minimum is too small given the size of storage on today's devices and the the fact that, in addition to photos and backups, they've opened iCloud storage to all of your other apps.

    I'd also love to be able to share iCloud storage across all of my family's devices rather than having to buy extra storage for each family member. I'd be happy to pay a competitive price once per month for a couple hundred gigabytes that we could each use, with each user's space separately encrypted.
  • Reply 79 of 161
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,141member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kellya74u View Post



    Last week, I tried iCloud Photo Sharing of two large family events with those involved. I immediately began getting emails saying that upon the receipt of the email invite, they clicked subscribe & couldn't get it to work. I added my email to the list of invites & read it on a PC laptop. I learned that to subscribe to the iCloud Photo Stream & see the pictures, one had to own an IOS device with IOS 6 or higher, or a Mac running 10.8.2 or higher, plus a late version of iPhoto. So, 3/4 of the people I sent the invite to can't see them. This is a whole different experience from something like SmugMug, which is browser based, & everyone invited can log in, view & download photos. I think iPhoto Sharing worked better under Mobile Me.

     

     

    There's absolutely nothing wrong or surprising about what you described. Photo Streams is an OS FEATURE. It is baked in to the photos app. So how the hell would you possibly expect it to work on ancient devices (with a 4 generation old OS, no less) that do not even have that software feature? You speak as if browser based is ideal in all situations. It isn't. Looking up photos in a browser is a pretty shitty experience on a mobile device, compared to have "live albums" inside the photos app, where the experience of navigating and receiving the photos is so much smoother, and native to the device. This is no different than pretty much all other iOS/OSX features. Your expectations are frankly absurd. Even an iPhone 3GS, from 2009, can run iOS6, so either your family members refuse to update their software, or they're content with ancient hardware. How is that Apple's fault? How is Apple supposed to inject new software features into ancient OS version? Try to be reasonable and rational. 

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

     



    Agreed.  The problem is nobody knows how iCloud works.  I found out the hard way that iCloud doesn't back up your contacts.  iCloud stores your contacts, but it doesn't back them up. A family member added an iOS devices to my account and replaced my 10 years of contacts with the blank slate from the new device.  iCloud propagated the blank slate to itself and all 5 of my other devices.  Apple had no way to get it back.  It never occurred to me that I could lose my contacts from 5 personal devices and iCloud all at the same time with no way to recover it.  Tell me that isn't f'd up?  


     

    iCloud is a backup and syncing service. And you could have easily restored your contacts by restoring your phone from a backup from the night before, or whenever the last backup was. Your post is false and invalid. So should iCloud create a separate backup of everything on your phone every time a change is made? I don't get what you expect. Nothing is "f'd up". The situation you just described, with the contacts being "wiped" because a new device is added, is also bullshit. Clearly you're leaving out part of the story, as that would not happen (I've added dozens of new devices to my account over the years, and not once has a contact been deleted". It's also negligence on your part, since exporting contacts once in a while (ie. once every 5 years) is a couple taps away. I do that once in a while, even though I've never had an issue- cause it's the smart and cautious thing to do.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post

     

    Can someone please explain to me  (like I'm a 5 year old)  how yahoo/flickr can offer 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) to anyone for free, but Apple has to charge, what I think are, exorbitant prices.  What's missing here?  I don't get it. There has to be some logical explanation, but I just don't see it.    :\ 


     

    There's dozens of reasons, one of which is with iOS devices, you're not only paying for the raw storage, but all the bandwidth that you're using to access it. Your phone is fully backed-up to iCloud every single night. Every single photo you take is uploaded in FULL resolution to the cloud. Also, all the stats show that iOS usage is so much higher than Android usage. I would be willing to bet that iPhone use up more bandwidth, and more load to Apple's servers, than every single Android phone combined does to Google's servers. What Flickr and Apple offer are fundamentally different things. iCloud, especially the backup and syncing, is an extremely ambitious service, regardless of whether people ant to admit it or not. 

     

    Oh, and all this bitching and whining over $0.99/month. The horror. I don't see any situation where this could actually be something someone is concerned about. That's less than the cost of 1 lunch the entire year. The same people who act outraged over this are the same ones would would spend 5x that on a coffee drink, which lasts a few minutes. It's almost embarrassing. 

  • Reply 80 of 161
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    This article is another example of how Apple doesn%u2019t get how to leverage Cloud storage. Their mismanagement on the UX is just one symptom of their incompetence into this understanding market. Apple get many things, such as context-adaptive UI, and the value of aesthetics and simplicity in some areas.

    No one company does everything great, but since Apple first started getting into end-user online services, they have displayed the same scatter-shot approach that Microsoft uses in their product attempts: Apple tries a service, realizes it isn%u2019t all that great and rebrands it a few years later. First .mac & iWeb, then .me, now iCloud%u2026 which is like MS%u2019s Vista, 7 touch, 8 UI/UX, and tablet line dances. Both companies failing at getting the fundamental concept of category down on the first go, and trying to iterate on a bad core premise due to lack of comprehending what is truly valuable in a product or design.

    I tried iTunes Match %u2014 I gave it 2 years, and it was a constant thorn in my side: syncing my huge library started rocky and would often fail and have to start the sync all over again. Also, it had the notorious habit of overwriting metadata tags I had updated with Match old metadata tags. I even showed the employee the sync problem.

    I wrote about how once I tried to sync a few new albums I ripped into iTunes with iTunes Match at an apple store and after over an hour of connection drops and errors, I gave up. He told me to send feedback. I had already done so since the beginning, and over 1.5 years later, the same sync issues remained.

    Maybe they have worked those problems out by now, but with their cloud .0 track record, I seriously doubt it. What it all boils down to is: I do not trust Apple to backup my information quickly and prevent automatic syncs from colliding making me chose the correct version or overwriting may changes as Match did.

    That is why I prefer the faster local backups and other cloud storage options available. While I still prefer Apple hardware and OSes, I am not a fan of a lot of their sync solutions and what they%u2019ve done to once decent apps like iTunes. Frankly, I think that Apple needs someone that %u201Cgets it%u201D like Steve did. And %u201Cgetting it%u201D means new products and updates always have to be easy to comprehend, reliable and seamless. That was Apples Mojo for last decade, and I think they continue straying from that path.
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