On the latest episode of ATP (and the “after dark” of the previous ep.) John Siracusa ranted1 about his disappointment in Apple’s failure to “storage shift” the iPhone 5S. Storage sizes for the iPhone have been stuck at 16GB/32GB/64GB for a few generations and the 5S does not improve the situation at all.

I get his disappointment even though I’m not personally too affected by Apple’s decision. I’ve always bought the smallest storage capacity available (I’ve owned the 3G, 4, and now 5) and have never run out of space2. I’m not sure why. I listen to music, take pictures, download podcasts, and watch videos on my phone. I’ve always been a bit of a “purger” when it comes to digital media, so maybe that explains it. But I digress…

What John didn’t mention — and a sin equally, if not more egregious — is the lack of “cloud storage shift”. If you think 16GB is a limiting amount of storage for a phone in 2013/2014, try backing that phone up to your 5GB iCloud storage.

Remember above when I said I don’t use much storage on my device? Check this out:

2.8GB of that 4.4GB is in Camera Roll

Let me just say preemptively that I know I can buy more storage. That’s not the point. My point is that I am not a heavy storage user and I can’t even back up my phone and an iPad successfully.

This is not an isolated incident either. My wife and my sister have both come to me with the same problem. We end up deleting a bunch of stuff off their phones in order to get backups working again. I guarantee thousands (millions?) of Apple’s customers are similarly frustrated with their iCloud backup experience.

Cloud services have been Apple’s achilles heel and here is just one more glaring example of them sucking at it.

If there’s one3 feature that I’m demanding in 2014 it’s not a shift in flash storage. It’s a shift in cloud storage.

  1. which is pretty much my favorite thing in the nerd world

  2. right now I have 4GB free on my 16GB iPhone 5

  3. hilarious hypothetical, since I have hundreds of “demands”