Nvidia’s GeForce Now’s free tier will soon show you up to two minutes of ads while you wait to play – proving nowhere is safe from commercials

Nvidia’s free tier of GeForce Now, its cloud gaming service, will soon run up to two minutes of ads before you play, according to Nvidia spokesperson Stephanie Ngo.

GeForce Now is a service offered by Nvidia that allows you to connect to digital PC game stores and stream games you already own across a multitude of different devices – including Macs, Windows laptops, iPhones and iPads, Android phones, and more.

It offers three membership tiers, with the free membership offering a queue system with an hour-long gaming session length that will then bring you back to the start of the queue once your time is up. It’s in this waiting time that the ads will be shown, so while it could be a little annoying, your actual gameplay time won’t be interrupted. 

The ads will help pay for the free tier service and keep it free, with Ngo adding that the change is also expected to reduce wait times for free users in the long run – though it’s not entirely clear at this point how that’s going to work. Perhaps Nvidia is expecting the arrival of ads to push users to pay for the premium tiers or simply drive some users away from the platform entirely – either would, in theory, help reduce queues for the free tier.  GeForce Now users should expect an email on 27 Feb to let them know about the changes. 

 Major inconvenience or just … meh?  

I’m not a user of Nvidia’s game-streaming service myself, but I reached out to GeForce Now Members within the TechRadar team and learned that wait times currently fluctuate between five to fifteen minutes – and scrolling through the GeForce Now subreddit proves that wait times can go on even longer. 

Most people who use the free tier of GeForce Now go in aware that they will be spending a not-insignificant amount of time in a queue, so in reality, two minutes of ads when you know you’re likely going to be waiting for longer anyway isn’t much of an inconvenience – it might even help kill some time. Many users are likely to simply do something else while queuing for their free hour timeslot anyway, so why shouldn’t Nvidia get some extra ad revenue from it?

That being said, it is a gloomy example of the inescapable modern torture of being advertised at non-stop. Almost every facet of the internet is packed with ads at this point (this article included – sorry about that, but we’ve got to eat!) and while a lot of platforms offer ad-free paid tiers, it seems like that isn’t enough anymore. 

Amazon Prime has received a lot of (well-deserved) flak for slapping ads onto paid memberships, and Netflix’s ad-supported free tier wasn’t very well-received either. While Nvidia’s latest move seems fairly innocuous right now, who’s to say the ‘up to two minutes’ won’t extend further in the future, until you’re sat watching a full ten minutes of commercials to play an hour-long session of your current favorite game? Do you just give in and buy a paid membership? I just might, personally – but I wouldn’t be happy about it.

Via The Verge 

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Mozilla adds new paid tier for its developer network

Mozilla has launched a new paid subscription service to further support the development of its Mozilla Developer Network (MDN).

While developers already rely on MDN to find documentation and code samples for CSS, HTML and JavaScript, MDN Plus will add three new features in the form of Notifications, Collections and MDN Offline.

As technology is every changing, staying on top of the latest developments can be difficult especially for busy programmers. With notifications in MDN Plus, subscribers get informed on all of the latest developments such as documentation changes, the launch of new CSS features and more after following a page. 

MDN Plus' collections feature meanwhile allows you to pick MDN articles you want to save as well as pages you frequently visit so that you have them stored in one convenient place when you need them most.

Sometimes developers need to access MDN when they don't have a strong internet connection or are completely offline. MDN offline leverages a Progressive Web Application (PWA) to gives users access to MDN Web Docs even when they lack internet access so that they can keep working uninterrupted.

MDN Plus

MDN Plus originally came about after Mozilla surveyed over 60k MDN users between 2020 and 2021 to learn that many of them wanted a customized MDN experience.

Now Mozilla's new subscription service for developers is available in the US and Canada though the company plans to expand it to other countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore in the coming months.

For developers interested in subscribing to MDN Plus, there are three plans to choose from including a supporter plan for those that want to spend a little extra to support the continued development of MDN.

The first plan is MDN core and it is intended for developers that want to test out a limited version of the service before purchasing a plan. Next up is MDN Plus 5 which offers unlimited access to notifications, collections, MDN offline and other upcoming features for $ 5 a month or $ 50 for the year. MDN Supporter 10 though is for MDN's loyal supporters that want everything under MDN Plus 5 along with early access to new features and a direct feedback channel to the MDN team. It's only slightly more expensive at $ 10 per month or $ 100 for the year. 

Mozilla is also offering a 20 percent discount for developers that subscribe to one of MDN Plus' annual subscription plans.

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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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