Apple iCloud im Test
Storage Capacity and Upgrades
Must buy for Apple users
Thanks to the photo library and reliable data backups, the iCloud is an ideal complement to iOS and macOS devices. “Drive” is a welcome addition that makes the cloud as flexible as Google’s competition. The security is also good. The investment is particularly worthwhile for Apple users. You could only ask for an “encore” when it comes to the storage space of the free version and the range of functions for Windows and Android users.
We liked that
- Extensive photo library
- backup options
- Office tools with collaborative editing
We didn’t like that
- Some features only on Apple devices
- Folder sharing only for recipients with Apple account
- Little “free storage space”
The best online storage in the test
Which online storage offers the most storage space and where is the uploading of files most reliable? We tell you that in our cloud storage comparison and tell you which provider we particularly recommend.
» For a detailed online storage comparison
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Subscriptions and Pricing
Apple is known for smooth cooperation between iPhone, Mac and Co. Much of this is based on iCloud. However, cloud storage is constantly evolving beyond its original function of synchronizing device data. We have critically examined the numerous functions of the offer.
iCloud im Test: iCloud Drive
The “Drive” represents the classic part of cloud storage at Apple: As usual, a folder from the cloud service is attached to Windows Explorer or macOS Finder, which is synchronized across systems.
However, selective synchronization of subfolders is missing with iCloud Drive. If desired, Mac users can also synchronize all content stored on the desktop with the cloud. If you use several Macs, you will be happy about synchronous desktops.
The iCloud including Drive is pre-installed on macOS and iOS devices by default. For Windows free software is available for download. Unfortunately, Android users can only use the web interface to access Drive data.
The iCloud offers five gigabytes of storage space in the free version. That’s enough for the beginning – more about upgrade options later.
iCloud in the test: Working together
Just like its competitors Microsoft and Google, Apple provides an online office suite for free use with Pages, Numbers and Keynote. This contains all the important editing tools and is suitable for creating full documents, spreadsheets or presentations. The purpose of this feature is to work together on relevant content.
Other people can be invited either via iCloud email address or link sharing. You can optionally protect links with passwords. If desired, your content can also be edited by link owners without an iCloud account – very good.
The joint work works very smoothly and basically much better than at Microsoft. Only with Google is the live transmission of changes in documents a little faster.
Files and folders on the iCloud Drive can be shared just as easily via a link. While Apple has long been less flexible in this regard than about Google and Dropbox, sharing is now easy and can be done without an Apple account. Only if you share complete folders do recipients unfortunately also have to have an iCloud account for access.
iCloud in practice
This is what the iCloud looks like in everyday life.
One of iCloud’s greatest strengths lies in photo management. When configured, pictures and videos taken with iPhone and iPad automatically end up in iCloud Photo Library, from where they are synced to iCloud-compatible devices.
Unlike the photo upload from Dropbox or OneDrive, for example, Apple prepares your photos in a very appealing way. While iCloud Drive is fully available under Windows, the photo library is unfortunately only available as a pure image viewer.
The photo library has reliable face recognition that can group pictures by people and works completely offline. Apple also groups your photos according to motifs and occasions – using the search function, for example, all photos from festivals or beaches can be found in no time at all.
It is also possible to sort photos by location: Apple elegantly distributes your photos here on a world map.
The service can also automatically create small souvenir films from your recordings. Basic image processing functions are also integrated into the iCloud. The appealing implementation of the features mentioned even surpasses the competitor Google Photos. Thanks to device-based image analysis and encryption in the cloud, Apple’s photo analysis also eliminates privacy concerns.
Typical for Apple, the photo library works absolutely smoothly, especially the uploading of your content works reliably and unobtrusively in the background. The “Optimize storage space” function, which is available under macOS and iOS, has proven to be particularly practical: Your high-resolution original recordings are stored in the iCloud, while smaller, storage-saving versions remain on your devices for offline use.
The process works dynamically depending on the available total memory. Apple has also fixed an earlier shortcoming of the photo library: the “Photos” app under macOS can now also import a large number of pictures at once.
iCloud in the test: automatic backups
The backup function of the iCloud is very attractive for users of iPhone and iPad: This involves automatic backups of all data and content of the mobile devices. Anyone setting up a new iOS device can always restore an exact image of the previous system – including app settings, chat histories and more.
Everything else about iOS backup to iCloud
If you want to protect your data on the iPhone, the only solution in an emergency is usually a backup. In this guide, we will show you how to create backups with iCloud.
iCloud Cost: Subscriptions and Pricing
If you use the photo library, backup and drive, you will quickly reach the limits of the five gigabytes of free storage capacity. An upgrade to 50 gigabytes costs one euro per month. 200 gigabytes cost 3 euros and 2 terabytes cost 10 euros per month.
These are fair prices, which are worth a subscription if you want to take full advantage of the features described. Nevertheless: More free storage would of course be desirable.
users of iCloud Family Sharing a special attractive offer is available. Because the capacity of a storage subscription can be made available to all members of the family release without there being mutual access to personal data.
Anyone who shares the 2 TB plan with several users, for example, will be happy about particularly attractive prices. Also, iCloud is part of Apple One.
iCloud in the test: security
According to Apple, data in the iCloud is always associated with at least one AES 128-bit encryption secured. The same protection is also used on the transmission path from your end devices to the Apple servers.
Apple guarantees 256-bit encryption for passwords saved via iCloud Keychain. In addition, one Two-factor authentication configure, the receipt of associated codes is not only possible via SMS, but also on your personal Apple devices. In terms of security, the iCloud can convince with this.
At the end of the originally booked subscription period, your iCloud subscription will be automatically renewed. You can prevent this by ending it before it expires. In addition to the Apple website, the easiest way to do this is via iPhone or iPad. the detailed procedure to cancel iCloud subscription we explain in a separate guide.
Storage Capacity and Upgrades
Apple iCloud: The best alternatives
Don’t you agree? Are you looking for suitable alternatives? Below are the best Apple iCloud alternatives.
We also recommend that you take a look at our Cloud storage-Leaderboards. You can find comparable products in the leaderboards, for example
“Cloud storage in comparison: 13 providers in the test” or “Comparison of free online storage: 10 free services in the test (2021)”
Apple iCloud: data sheet
Here you can find the technical data for Apple iCloud. You can easily compare size, weight and other properties with other products.
|Storage in the free version||5 GB|
|Package with the largest storage space||2 TB / 9.99 euros per month|
|collaborative working||✔ Yes|
|Photo management tools||✔ Yes|
|Data encryption on the transmission path||✔ Yes|
|Data encryption on server||✔ Yes|
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