Apple One, a single subscription that bundles up to six different Apple subscription products, became available this weekend in three flavors: Individual ($15 a month), Family ($20 a month), and Premier ($30 a month.)
If you were to buy everything unbundled, you would pay about $6 more for the individual plan, $8 for the Family plan, and a whopping $25 a month for the Premier plan. On paper, it sounds like such a great deal, especially if you buy the premier package. I mean, it has everything. Especially if you have kids who like to play games on their devices. It is also a smart, sneaky way to keep the entire family on the Apple hardware for a long time.
The fly in the ointment is storage. A measly 50 GB storage in 2020 or 200 GB shared among (up to) five family members is a bit of a joke. Even as an individual, it isn’t enough. “My only beef with the Apple One bundles is that the included iCloud storage levels are too small,” noted John Gruber on DaringFireball. “Either I’m vastly overestimating the size of a typical user’s iCloud Photos library, or Apple is doing wrong by paying users with these storage levels.”
It would be better if Apple gave people an option to buy either Arcade or News+ for their Individual package, though I see why arcade makes sense in family plans. Given these limitations, I started to wonder if I actually want any of these tiers. Since I already pay Apple $10 a month for 2 TB of storage, Premier was interesting. At least until I started to do the math.
I am not a gamer and don’t have enough time to become one, so I won’t get much use out of Apple Arcade. Having paid and unsubscribed from News+, I think Apple should be paying all of us money to use that abomination of a product. (Flipboard is a better product, more robust with a greater user experience.) However, I do want Apple TV+, which is becoming the new HBO. Every one of my friends seems to love their offerings.
And I have been toying with Apple Music as my streaming option. The general degradation of Spotify’s user interface and higher emphasis on podcasts and related content has made it necessary to look for alternatives. I don’t want to — and don’t even expect to be successful in this search.
I tried Qobuzz, which had excellent sound quality, but it didn’t have the depth in their library. Also, their recommendation engine is non-existent. I tried Tidal but didn’t want to get attached to a service that might not be around. Amazon Music is a possibility, but I have soured on that company’s corporate ethics. I firmly believe in digital disobedience, and we should vote with our dollars.
Apple Music has a large enough library to discover new artists and enjoy new works by artists I already like. It is not perfect. (For instance, it doesn’t work with my streamer.) But it is the only viable Spotify replacement I have found, though I am not sold on it just yet.
Since Apple Music costs $10 a month, together with $5 per month for Apple TV+ and the $10 I pay for the 2 TB of iCloud storage, I will still pay $5 less each month than I would the Apple One Premier tier. If I got the “Individual Plan” and extra storage, it is still $25 a month.
So, the Apple One bundle doesn’t hold any allure for me at any tier. But that’s just me. What about you? What do you think about the bundle? Leave a comment.
October 31, 2020, San Francisco