Brave, DuckDuckGo just gave you another way to flip Google the middle finger

Brave has announced that its web browser will now allow users to bypass AMP pages hosted by Google, which it claims are harmful to both privacy and the state of the web.

The new De-AMP feature will instead funnel web users to content hosted directly on the publisher’s website, minimizing the opportunity for additional tracking and meddling to take place.

Not to be outdone, rival privacy software company DuckDuckGo rushed to Twitter to reveal that its apps and extensions now offer similar functionality, but the specifics of the implementation are not yet clear.

Google’s AMP troubles

Rolled out in 2015, AMP (short for accelerated mobile pages) is a system whereby stripped-back versions of trending web pages are preloaded and served up via Google servers.

When AMP was first announced, Google said it beleived the system would help ensure rich web content such as video and animation would load rapidly and behave consistently across all platforms, thereby improving the web experience.

However, the scheme has come under criticism from publishers and privacy advocates alike, who say AMP gives Google yet more signals to gobble up in support of its digital advertising business, creates confusion as to the source of information and forces publishers to build their websites to Google’s desired spec.

“AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience, and just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the web,” wrote Brave, in a blog post.

And in a Twitter thread, DuckDuckGo presented a similar justification for its decision to move against the initiative.

“AMP technology is bad for privacy because it enables Google to track users even more,” said the firm. “And Google uses AMP to further entrench its monopoly, forcing the technology on publishers by prioritizing AMP links in search and favoring Google ads on AMP pages.”

Since the launch of AMP, a number of publishers (including Future plc., parent to TechRadar Pro) have abandoned the system. And now, browser vendors like Brave and DuckDuckGo are coming out with their own tools to help web users bypass AMP altogether.

“Where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether,” explained Brave. “And in cases where that is not possible, Brave will watch as pages are being fetched and redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is even rendered, preventing AMP/Google code from being loaded and executed.”

Brave’s De-AMP feature is now available in both Nightly and Beta versions of its browser and will be enabled by default in the next full public release. TechRadar Pro is awaiting further specifics about DuckDuckGo’s efforts.

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Brave, DuckDuckGo just gave you another way to flip Google the middle finger

Brave has announced that its web browser will now allow users to bypass AMP pages hosted by Google, which it claims are harmful to both privacy and the state of the web.

The new De-AMP feature will instead funnel web users to content hosted directly on the publisher’s website, minimizing the opportunity for additional tracking and meddling to take place.

Not to be outdone, rival privacy software company DuckDuckGo rushed to Twitter to reveal that its apps and extensions now offer similar functionality, but the specifics of the implementation are not yet clear.

Google’s AMP troubles

Rolled out in 2015, AMP (short for accelerated mobile pages) is a system whereby stripped-back versions of trending web pages are preloaded and served up via Google servers.

When AMP was first announced, Google said it beleived the system would help ensure rich web content such as video and animation would load rapidly and behave consistently across all platforms, thereby improving the web experience.

However, the scheme has come under criticism from publishers and privacy advocates alike, who say AMP gives Google yet more signals to gobble up in support of its digital advertising business, creates confusion as to the source of information and forces publishers to build their websites to Google’s desired spec.

“AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience, and just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the web,” wrote Brave, in a blog post.

And in a Twitter thread, DuckDuckGo presented a similar justification for its decision to move against the initiative.

“AMP technology is bad for privacy because it enables Google to track users even more,” said the firm. “And Google uses AMP to further entrench its monopoly, forcing the technology on publishers by prioritizing AMP links in search and favoring Google ads on AMP pages.”

Since the launch of AMP, a number of publishers (including Future plc., parent to TechRadar Pro) have abandoned the system. And now, browser vendors like Brave and DuckDuckGo are coming out with their own tools to help web users bypass AMP altogether.

“Where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether,” explained Brave. “And in cases where that is not possible, Brave will watch as pages are being fetched and redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is even rendered, preventing AMP/Google code from being loaded and executed.”

Brave’s De-AMP feature is now available in both Nightly and Beta versions of its browser and will be enabled by default in the next full public release. TechRadar Pro is awaiting further specifics about DuckDuckGo’s efforts.

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Microsoft Teams may just help you get out of that dull work meeting

Sitting through another unnecessary Microsoft Teams call may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new addition to the service.

Microsoft has revealed it is working on a feature for its video conferencing tool that will allow users to adapt their Microsoft Teams status ahead of proposed meetings.

The feature should mean that users will be able to flag when they are free for a Microsoft Teams meeting, or alternately when they are too busy to attend, or are out of the office.

Microsoft Teams Calendar update

In the official Microsoft 365 roadmap entry for the new feature, officially titled, “Microsoft Teams: Calendar Show As in meetings”, Microsoft explains how it could benefit users with packed schedules.

The company notes how it would allow both organizers and participants of a Microsoft Teams meeting to choose a “Calendar Show As” status to reflect their availability, with options including free, busy or OOF. 

Organizers will also be able to select private meeting functionality, which will allow users to hide meeting details from other users when their calendar is shared.

The feature is still listed as in development for now, with Microsoft estimating a general release date in June 2022. The company says that, when available, the addition will be provided to all PC and Mac users.

The update is the latest in a series of features introduced by Microsoft in an attempt to make hybrid working and online collaboration less painful for users across the globe.

The company recently revealed a separate update entitled “working hours and location” will allow users to set a notice showing where they are working, whether that be at home, in the office, or anywhere else in particular, giving managers more visibility on where their key employees are.

Users of its Outlook email service will also be able to display a second calendar type, with the company noting that users will have “a variety of global calendars” to choose from, including the likes of the Chinese lunar calendar, Indian calendar and the Islamic calendar will soon be available as options within Outlook, so certain holidays or observances are not missed.

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Netflix Two Thumbs Up is just the start of personalization changes

Most of us bingeing Bridgerton, Inventing Anna, or Is it Cake? on Netflix didn't just like these series, we loved them. Sadly, we could express only mild enthusiasm with a thumbs up. That changed Monday with Netflix's introduction of two thumbs up to signify you “Love this!”

Netflix teased the new feature a few weeks back, but now it's live globally on the web, iOS, Android, and on your streaming devices. Plus we finally have more information about how Netflix is using “Love this!”, how that rating's algorithmic impact might differ from a mere single thumbs-up, and what the future might hold.

In a blog post on the change, Netflix Director of Product Innovation Christine Doig-Cardet explained why the streaming behemoth added another rating tier:

“Our current Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons are a good way for you to tell us how you feel about a series or film, and in return, you get a profile that’s better personalized to your taste. However, we’ve learned over time that these feelings can go beyond a simple like or dislike.  Providing an additional way to tell us when you’re really into something means a profile with recommendations that better reflect what you enjoy.”

A single thumbs-up rating will still help Netflix tailor recommendations but a double thumbs-up will help Netflix refine the recommendations even further. “For example,” wrote Doig-Cardet, “if you loved Bridgerton, you might see even more shows or films starring the cast, or from Shondaland.”

“This feature,” a Netflix spokesperson told TechRadar, “I would liken it to turning up the volume on your dial for a song you really love.”

The “Love this!” rating is not suddenly the predominant viewing preference indicator. It's simply another signal among many to tell Netflix what you really love so they can show you what you really want, noted the spokesperson. So you won't just see the best shows on Netflix but the best for you.

Among the signals Netflix still looks at is how you interact with shows you're watching or not watching. When you use “Play Something,” for instance, hitting “Next” as soon as a show starts to play lets Netflix know that you really don't like that content.

The new rating isn't hard to find. Open any Netflix show and you'll see the original thumbs-up rating option. On the desktop, we could hover over that icon to see thumbs down (“Not for me”), thumbs up (“I like this”), and the new two thumbs up (“Love this!”). 

The rating options are available on all shows and can be changed at any time, which might encourage you to go back and rerate Squid Game.

Netflix Love This

(Image credit: Future)

Won't save a show

No matter how much you love a show, even using the new two-thumbs-up won't save your favorite Netflix shows. 

“No. Ultimately, as you know, our content team is amazing,” Netflix told us. “Much of that decision-making is rooted in art and science and instinct and it will remain that way.”

But there is a chance of tangential impact if Netflix goes ahead with another idea, which is to use the double thumbs up or “Love this!” rating to drive an entire row of “Most Loved Stuff This week.”  After all, if you see what everyone else is really loving, then you might decide to watch that over something people simply “like.” 

If part of Netflix's decision-making is rooted in science and a piece of that science is viewers…well, then it does seem possible that Loving content might someday lead to saving it.

What's next

Netflix's “Love this!' rating option is just the beginning of what could be a year of personalization changes.

“We’re really excited about this,” noted the Netflix spokesperson. It's the “first update in five years to the thumb rating system, [and] the first out the gate this year for us.”

Which means there's more to come. Netflix's goal is to give members more control over their Netflix experience.

“We really want to introduce more personalization features this year,” said the Netflix spokesperson, “You’ll see a lot more from us this year in this space.”

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Netflix Two Thumbs Up is just the start of personalization changes

Most of us bingeing Bridgerton, Inventing Anna, or Is it Cake? on Netflix didn't just like these series, we loved them. Sadly, we could express only mild enthusiasm with a thumbs up. That changed Monday with Netflix's introduction of two thumbs up to signify you “Love this!”

Netflix teased the new feature a few weeks back, but now it's live globally on the web, iOS, Android, and on your streaming devices. Plus we finally have more information about how Netflix is using “Love this!”, how that rating's algorithmic impact might differ from a mere single thumbs-up, and what the future might hold.

In a blog post on the change, Netflix Director of Product Innovation Christine Doig-Cardet explained why the streaming behemoth added another rating tier:

“Our current Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons are a good way for you to tell us how you feel about a series or film, and in return, you get a profile that’s better personalized to your taste. However, we’ve learned over time that these feelings can go beyond a simple like or dislike.  Providing an additional way to tell us when you’re really into something means a profile with recommendations that better reflect what you enjoy.”

A single thumbs-up rating will still help Netflix tailor recommendations but a double thumbs-up will help Netflix refine the recommendations even further. “For example,” wrote Doig-Cardet, “if you loved Bridgerton, you might see even more shows or films starring the cast, or from Shondaland.”

“This feature,” a Netflix spokesperson told TechRadar, “I would liken it to turning up the volume on your dial for a song you really love.”

The “Love this!” rating is not suddenly the predominant viewing preference indicator. It's simply another signal among many to tell Netflix what you really love so they can show you what you really want, noted the spokesperson. So you won't just see the best shows on Netflix but the best for you.

Among the signals Netflix still looks at is how you interact with shows you're watching or not watching. When you use “Play Something,” for instance, hitting “Next” as soon as a show starts to play lets Netflix know that you really don't like that content.

The new rating isn't hard to find. Open any Netflix show and you'll see the original thumbs-up rating option. On the desktop, we could hover over that icon to see thumbs down (“Not for me”), thumbs up (“I like this”), and the new two thumbs up (“Love this!”). 

The rating options are available on all shows and can be changed at any time, which might encourage you to go back and rerate Squid Game.

Netflix Love This

(Image credit: Future)

Won't save a show

No matter how much you love a show, even using the new two-thumbs-up won't save your favorite Netflix shows. 

“No. Ultimately, as you know, our content team is amazing,” Netflix told us. “Much of that decision-making is rooted in art and science and instinct and it will remain that way.”

But there is a chance of tangential impact if Netflix goes ahead with another idea, which is to use the double thumbs up or “Love this!” rating to drive an entire row of “Most Loved Stuff This week.”  After all, if you see what everyone else is really loving, then you might decide to watch that over something people simply “like.” 

If part of Netflix's decision-making is rooted in science and a piece of that science is viewers…well, then it does seem possible that Loving content might someday lead to saving it.

What's next

Netflix's “Love this!' rating option is just the beginning of what could be a year of personalization changes.

“We’re really excited about this,” noted the Netflix spokesperson. It's the “first update in five years to the thumb rating system, [and] the first out the gate this year for us.”

Which means there's more to come. Netflix's goal is to give members more control over their Netflix experience.

“We really want to introduce more personalization features this year,” said the Netflix spokesperson, “You’ll see a lot more from us this year in this space.”

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Browser wars: Microsoft Edge just steamed past a major rival

As the browser wars rage on, Microsoft Edge is one step closer to challenging Google Chrome as it has finally surpassed another major rival.

According to data from the web analytics service StatCounter, Microsoft’s browser is now used on 9.65 percent of all desktops worldwide which still pales in comparison to Chrome’s 67.26 percent market share.

Back in February of this year, Edge was closing in on Safari but based on new data from March, Apple’s browser now has 9.57 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide. Meanwhile, Mozilla Firefox has slipped slightly from 9.18 percent to 7.57 percent.

Surprisingly, Internet Explorer is still being used on one percent (0.92%) of desktops globally, most likely by users that haven’t upgraded to Windows 11 or even Windows 10 yet. Microsoft is planning to retire its IE 11 app on June 15 of this year though, so these users will have to make the switch to Edge or even to an alternative browser like Opera which has 2.83 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide.

Mobile is a different story altogether

Although Edge is certainly making inroads on desktop, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s browser on Android and iOS.

According to StatCounter's mobile data, Chrome is used on 63.26 percent of all smartphones which makes sense as there are currently over 3bn active Android devices in use and Google’s browser comes preinstalled on Android smartphones. Likewise, Safari, which comes preinstalled on iPhones, has 24.81 percent of the mobile browser market share worldwide. Samsung’s browser, Samsung Internet, meanwhile is currently in third place at just under five percent (4.99%).

Although Microsoft Edge doesn’t even appear in StatCounter’s mobile browser market share data, its usage is growing on mobile. According to Edge’s Play Store listing, the browser’s mobile app has been installed over 10m times and has 4.5 stars based on 453k user reviews. Apple’s App Store doesn’t provide the same detailed install data that the Play Store does but Edge for iOS is ranked #18 in utilities and has a 4.6 rating based on more than 78k user reviews.

A recent report from Windows Central says that Microsoft is reportedly planning to consolidate its Android efforts into a single division to offer tighter integration between Google’s mobile operating system and Windows 11. While the move is likely more geared towards having Android apps run better on Windows, the software giant’s renewed interest in Android could see it double down on Edge’s mobile app for the platform.

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Browser wars: Microsoft Edge just steamed past a major rival

As the browser wars rage on, Microsoft Edge is one step closer to challenging Google Chrome as it has finally surpassed another major rival.

According to data from the web analytics service StatCounter, Microsoft’s browser is now used on 9.65 percent of all desktops worldwide which still pales in comparison to Chrome’s 67.26 percent market share.

Back in February of this year, Edge was closing in on Safari but based on new data from March, Apple’s browser now has 9.57 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide. Meanwhile, Mozilla Firefox has slipped slightly from 9.18 percent to 7.57 percent.

Surprisingly, Internet Explorer is still being used on one percent (0.92%) of desktops globally, most likely by users that haven’t upgraded to Windows 11 or even Windows 10 yet. Microsoft is planning to retire its IE 11 app on June 15 of this year though, so these users will have to make the switch to Edge or even to an alternative browser like Opera which has 2.83 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide.

Mobile is a different story altogether

Although Edge is certainly making inroads on desktop, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s browser on Android and iOS.

According to StatCounter's mobile data, Chrome is used on 63.26 percent of all smartphones which makes sense as there are currently over 3bn active Android devices in use and Google’s browser comes preinstalled on Android smartphones. Likewise, Safari, which comes preinstalled on iPhones, has 24.81 percent of the mobile browser market share worldwide. Samsung’s browser, Samsung Internet, meanwhile is currently in third place at just under five percent (4.99%).

Although Microsoft Edge doesn’t even appear in StatCounter’s mobile browser market share data, its usage is growing on mobile. According to Edge’s Play Store listing, the browser’s mobile app has been installed over 10m times and has 4.5 stars based on 453k user reviews. Apple’s App Store doesn’t provide the same detailed install data that the Play Store does but Edge for iOS is ranked #18 in utilities and has a 4.6 rating based on more than 78k user reviews.

A recent report from Windows Central says that Microsoft is reportedly planning to consolidate its Android efforts into a single division to offer tighter integration between Google’s mobile operating system and Windows 11. While the move is likely more geared towards having Android apps run better on Windows, the software giant’s renewed interest in Android could see it double down on Edge’s mobile app for the platform.

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YouTube’s Snapchat sharing feature sounds cool – but is it just a gimmick?

YouTube's latest social feature is letting users share videos to Snapchat as stickers. If you liked a video that a friend or family member might be interested in, you can immediately share it via Snapchat in the form of a sticker slapped onto the snap.

The social feature, available on both iOS and Android smartphones, pulls up the Snapchat app when you select it from the 'Share' menu on a YouTube video. A handy box containing the video's thumbnail and title will appear on your snap. And after you've taken a photo, you can adjust the thumbnail's size, angle and location on the snap. Then, when you've sent your snap to a friend, they can open the YouTube video by simply tapping the link embedded in the thumbnail.

The new sharing process eschews the need to directly copy a link from YouTube for pasting into Snapchat. Instead, one tap of that Share button is all you need to transfer the video to your snap, with all info and the link contained in one convenient snippet.


Analysis: Improvement or gimmick?

Snapchat YouTube sharing

(Image credit: Snapchat)

Within the confines of Snapchat, this new YouTube video-sharing feature sounds great. It requires fewer taps and link management and means Snapchat doesn't have to rely on your clipboard for copied content. Being able to customize the embedded video's placement, size, and angle is nice, too. But are Snapchat users really going to be impressed by this feature, and more importantly, will people use it?

The real issue here lies in whether or not Snapchat is the most convenient social platform with which to share YouTube videos. While this overhaul to sharing YouTube videos via Snapchat is an improvement, it's really just a nifty addition to what is still a cumbersome process.

You still have to create a snap to host the YouTube snippet. That in itself could be a decently lengthy process, depending on your own preferences and attention to detail when it comes to taking snaps. In this case, it would be much quicker and easier to simply share a YouTube link through more conventional social platforms, like Whatsapp, Discord, or even Twitter and Facebook depending on the group of contacts you wish to reach.

It's still a win for avid Snapchat users, of course, especially those who use it as their primary social platform. We can even see there being some particularly creative uses of this YouTube video sharing feature. One example that comes to mind would be an online merchant taking a snap of their product and inserting a YouTube snippet that the user can open and learn more about the product.

Therein lies what we feel is the biggest issue with this update. It's harmless, and definitely doesn't detract from the Snapchat experience. However, it's also very situational, will work better for some more than others, and isn't something we see a swathe of Snapchat users flocking to in order to share their favorite YouTube videos with friends. There are quicker ways of doing that, even if those methods aren't quite as fun or creative.

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iCloud’s free tier hasn’t improved since 2011 – 5GB just isn’t enough anymore

Apple's iCloud service passed its 10th birthday in 2021, and syncing photos and messages between my iPhone, iPad by now, makes me feel as if the service has been around as long as the original iPod.

I remember when the iPhone 4S debuted with iOS 5 and iCloud in 2011, and being able to take a photo, then see it on my iPad 2 soon after felt like magic. You could argue that we've had the same method for email for years, as your messages have synced between your devices for much longer than Apple's service.

But while we've seen huge advances in iPhones and iPads, even a chip transition of the Macs from Intel to Apple Silicon, iCloud's free tier has remained the same, offering just 5GB.

When you consider iPhones that can record in full 4K video, with one minute taking up 440MB, you'll already be needing to pay for a higher tier of iCloud storage once you record for ten minutes. With this in mind, this is what I'd like to see for the free tier going forward.

Match the tiers with iPad storage

Displaying the tiers of iCloud storage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We need to look at how the paid tiers have changed over the years, while the 5GB free tier has remained the same. These three tiers arrived with iCloud in 2011:

  • 10GB
  • 20GB
  • 50GB

2015 saw some changes to this:

  • 200GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB

In 2020, we saw the latest change to the tiers:

  • 50GB
  • 200GB
  • 2TB

Across these changes, free with 5GB has remained the same. I've always been paying for the highest tier due to the number of photos and videos I both store and take on my devices, alongside keeping hundreds of files that were once on a OneDrive account, Microsoft's cloud storage service.

While the jump between 200GB and 2TB is baffling to me in how far apart they are, it's something I've come to accept, and it's the 2TB tier that I'm paying for each month.

But 5GB for a free tier is ridiculous in 2022. When I used to work at a phone store in a previous life, as soon as I discovered that there were so many photos that one customer had on their iPhone, I'd help set up an iCloud plan, mainly because they were adamant that they needed their photos to be on their new iPhone.

Setting this up would mean that the photos would be stored in the cloud, and a weekly backup of their iPhone content would be possible without facing the 5GB wall.

64GB free storage for all

But it's time for a change. This is what I'd like to see in the future for all the tiers:

  • Free: 64GB
  • 500GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
  • 5TB

The free tier should match the lowest amount of storage that's available on Apple's products – in this case it's the iPhone SE (2022) and the iPad Air (2022), both offering 64GB as an option.

It's not great to see these as storage options in 2022 regardless, but increasing the free tier could help with this. Backups would be possible with these devices, and you could store a good amount of photos and videos.

Our Deputy Phones Editor, Tom Bedford spoke to me about how he still constantly sees the 'iCloud storage is getting full' on the free tier he has with his iPad, and he's primarily a Windows and Android user.

5GB in 2022 makes no sense anymore – let's see a tier that matches the lowest storage option on Apple's devices, to help remove any anxiety about needing to free up iCloud space to create a successful backup.

And as a bonus, the paid tiers should see more choice – start at a tier for the users like me who have multiple Apple devices, to those who are content creators for the 5TB tier, who want to store hundreds of gigabytes on their iCloud Drive.

In this scenario, everyone wins. Apple can afford to allow users on a free tier of 64GB storage, especially with its services growing in revenue every year. iCloud has become a useful service for many, but mainly on the paid tier, and that needs to change so that it can benefit all of its users.

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iCloud’s free tier hasn’t improved since 2011 – 5GB just isn’t enough anymore

Apple's iCloud service passed its 10th birthday in 2021, and syncing photos and messages between my iPhone, iPad by now, makes me feel as if the service has been around as long as the original iPod.

I remember when the iPhone 4S debuted with iOS 5 and iCloud in 2011, and being able to take a photo, then see it on my iPad 2 soon after felt like magic. You could argue that we've had the same method for email for years, as your messages have synced between your devices for much longer than Apple's service.

But while we've seen huge advances in iPhones and iPads, even a chip transition of the Macs from Intel to Apple Silicon, iCloud's free tier has remained the same, offering just 5GB.

When you consider iPhones that can record in full 4K video, with one minute taking up 440MB, you'll already be needing to pay for a higher tier of iCloud storage once you record for ten minutes. With this in mind, this is what I'd like to see for the free tier going forward.

Match the tiers with iPad storage

Displaying the tiers of iCloud storage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We need to look at how the paid tiers have changed over the years, while the 5GB free tier has remained the same. These three tiers arrived with iCloud in 2011:

  • 10GB
  • 20GB
  • 50GB

2015 saw some changes to this:

  • 200GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB

In 2020, we saw the latest change to the tiers:

  • 50GB
  • 200GB
  • 2TB

Across these changes, free with 5GB has remained the same. I've always been paying for the highest tier due to the number of photos and videos I both store and take on my devices, alongside keeping hundreds of files that were once on a OneDrive account, Microsoft's cloud storage service.

While the jump between 200GB and 2TB is baffling to me in how far apart they are, it's something I've come to accept, and it's the 2TB tier that I'm paying for each month.

But 5GB for a free tier is ridiculous in 2022. When I used to work at a phone store in a previous life, as soon as I discovered that there were so many photos that one customer had on their iPhone, I'd help set up an iCloud plan, mainly because they were adamant that they needed their photos to be on their new iPhone.

Setting this up would mean that the photos would be stored in the cloud, and a weekly backup of their iPhone content would be possible without facing the 5GB wall.

64GB free storage for all

But it's time for a change. This is what I'd like to see in the future for all the tiers:

  • Free: 64GB
  • 500GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
  • 5TB

The free tier should match the lowest amount of storage that's available on Apple's products – in this case it's the iPhone SE (2022) and the iPad Air (2022), both offering 64GB as an option.

It's not great to see these as storage options in 2022 regardless, but increasing the free tier could help with this. Backups would be possible with these devices, and you could store a good amount of photos and videos.

Our Deputy Phones Editor, Tom Bedford spoke to me about how he still constantly sees the 'iCloud storage is getting full' on the free tier he has with his iPad, and he's primarily a Windows and Android user.

5GB in 2022 makes no sense anymore – let's see a tier that matches the lowest storage option on Apple's devices, to help remove any anxiety about needing to free up iCloud space to create a successful backup.

And as a bonus, the paid tiers should see more choice – start at a tier for the users like me who have multiple Apple devices, to those who are content creators for the 5TB tier, who want to store hundreds of gigabytes on their iCloud Drive.

In this scenario, everyone wins. Apple can afford to allow users on a free tier of 64GB storage, especially with its services growing in revenue every year. iCloud has become a useful service for many, but mainly on the paid tier, and that needs to change so that it can benefit all of its users.

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