Storage Stories April 26, 2016

macbookprossd-3

Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade. expand full story

Storage Stories March 18, 2016

4k

It was estimated last year that Apple takes home a stunning 94% of all profits made by all players across the entire smartphone industry. Its gross margin across all products hovers around the 40% mark. Apple knows how to make money from its products.

One way it does this is to sell its iPhones with a base level of flash storage that is just barely usable, and charge a hefty markup for higher storage tiers. Sure, you can buy a shiny new iPhone 6s for $649, but that gets you a measly 16GB. It’ll cost you another hundred bucks to get a more reasonable 64GB and another $100 again if you want to max out at 128GB.

I’ve touched on this topic before as part of a more general piece about whether Apple was getting a little too greedy, but it seems to me that when the company is supplying iPhones with 4K camcorders built into them, this is the point at which a 16GB tier becomes completely indefensible …

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Storage Stories March 11, 2016

elcapitan-ios9-setup-family-sharing

I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.

While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.

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Storage Stories March 8, 2016

Aura Pro SSD MacBook Upgrade

Today, aftermarket Mac upgrade specialists OWC announced that the long-awaited PCIe flash storage upgrades for late model Mac laptops are now available. MacBook Pro, as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle, are eligible to upgrade. Upgrades include a 480GB or a 1TB PCIe-based flash storage solution.

Considering that many of these Macs shipped with anemic 128GB or 256GB SSDs, this can be considered a major upgrade. For instance, with MacBook Airs that featured 128GB of flash storage space, a 1TB upgrade equals 8x the storage space, a significant increase in eligible storage. expand full story

Storage Stories February 3, 2016

Shenzhen-market-flash-upgrade

You can get just about anything at the Shenzhen market in China, and that apparently includes an on-the-spot internal storage upgrade for your iPhone (in addition to a long list of counterfeit Apple products). It’s a service that, save for perhaps the most hardcore DIYers, is unheard of stateside. expand full story

Storage Stories December 10, 2015

TarDisk-Pear-Hero

Adding extra storage to a MacBook using an SD card is easy, but it works like a thumb drive or external hard drive and not like your permanent, built-in storage. That means you’ll have to manually manage the storage, dragging files to and from the drive. But TarDisk Pear lets you add extra flash storage to your MacBook using an SD card and 1-click setup to merge the storage with your internal drive. After a quick setup, the TarDisk SD card installed in your Mac will act as one fusion drive with your built-in storage. I’ve been testing the product to see if it works like it should…

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Storage Stories December 2, 2015

he10

Although faster, cheaper solid state drives (SSDs) are winning marketshare and mindshare, makers of traditional hard disks are still working to squeeze more storage capacity inside standard 1-inch hard drive enclosures. HGST — known for its excellent G-Technology-branded G-Drives — today announced the Ultrastar He10, a 3.5-inch conventional hard drive with a staggering 10TB of storage space. But “conventional” might be the wrong word, as the drive manages to fit seven platters inside its hermetically-sealed enclosure, which is filled with helium rather than air, hence the “He” name. Measuring 1″ thick, it’s capable of fitting inside even the latest, thinnest Retina iMacs, as well as conventional external hard drive enclosures…

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Storage Stories November 17, 2015

photos tweet - free up space

Google is adding some new space-saving features to its Photos app on both the web and iOS. A new feature rolling out to the web client starting Wednesday will give the option to downgrade photos previous backed up in full resolution to the compressed mode in order to save space. And on iOS, there’s a new “Free up space” button being added to the settings menu that deletes already backed up photos… expand full story

Storage Stories November 15, 2015

Messages iOS iPhone iPad iOS 9 16-9

When you send pictures, videos, audio messages and other attachments in Messages on iPhone and iPad, it stays on the device by default taking up memory. For a lot of people, Messages is the second biggest app on their device in terms of storage, with Photos often being the biggest, because of the fact that the photos they share from Photos actually gets stored twice on the device: within Photos and within Messages. In this How-To article, I’m going to discuss how to delete multiple images in Messages very quickly.

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Storage Stories October 29, 2015

Tardisk-Pear

TarDisk is launching its new ‘Pear’ product today, a customized SD card solution for MacBook users that can double the device’s storage capacity while using software to create a hybrid drive that works hand in hand with your built-in drive. expand full story

Storage Stories October 14, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: Apple Watch leather band $10, Shadowmatic for iOS free, Samsung 500GB SSD $150, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Apple’s new 4K & 5K iMacs already seeing the first price cuts and tax-free options

Cost-Effective Apple Watch Bands: Aukey 42mm Leather $10 Prime shipped (Reg. $20), more

Apple is dishing out free downloads of the award-winning puzzle game Shadowmatic

Storage: Samsung 500GB 2.5-inch Internal SSD $150 (Reg. $170), WD My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable HDD $70 (Reg. $85)

Apple Watch 42mm Stainless Steel Case w/ Black Sport Band: $520 shipped (Orig. $599)

Apple 12-inch MacBook 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB from $1,190 or $1,150 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,299), more

13″ Retina MacBook Pro (newest) 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB: $1,280 shipped (Reg. $1,499)

More new gear from today:

Games/Apps: NHL 16 (all platforms) $40, Until Dawn $40, Drop the Chicken free, more iOS freebies

More deals still alive:

Camabond 10ft Nylon Braided MFi Apple Certified Lightning Cables $11 Prime shippedmore

1Password secure password manager for Mac: $30 (Reg. $50)

App Store Free App of the Week: Wake Alarm Clock ($4 value)

The Executive for iOS goes free for the first time as IGN’s Game of the Month ($5 value)

Tweetbot for Mac drops to $10 (Reg. $13)

New products & more:

This is the Apple TV remote that Cupertino should’ve made

The BLOCKS modular smartwatch has flown past its Kickstarter goal in a just a few hours

Storage Stories September 2, 2015

AppleTVStaggered

The fourth-generation Apple TV, set to be unveiled at an event on September 9th and released in October, will feature a mix of new and familiar hardware, according to reliable sources. While the new device will sport a much faster processor than the current Apple TV, a color-matched remote control, and a somewhat larger body, it will lack support for 4K video streaming and have the same basic ports as the third-generation model…

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Storage Stories August 25, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: Retina MacBook Pro $1,100, Toshiba 2TB Portable HDD $70, AirPano for iOS free download, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals

Last Call Updates:

Back to school gift guide: essential tech gear every student should be using

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display (newest) 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB: $1,100 shipped (Reg. $1,299)

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive in Red $70 shipped (Orig. $130)

Get a free download of the AirPano Travel Book iOS app courtesy of Apple ($3 value)

Logitech Powershell controller 1500mAh battery case for iPhone 5/5S/iPod Touch: $9 Prime shipped

$100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 with free shipping (15% savings)

Giveaway: Jaybird’s new X2 Bluetooth earbuds are the ultimate workout counterpart ($180 value)

More new gear from today:

Aukey Power Banks w/ Prime shipping: Dual USB 10000mAh $10 (Reg. $20), 3000mAh $6 (Reg. $10), more

More deals still alive:

Belkin Ultimate Pro Bluetooth iPad Air 2 Keyboard Case w/ backlit keys: $75 shipped (Reg. $150), more

Canon T5 DSLR w/ 18-55mm lens kit (refurb w/ 1 yr warranty): $250 shipped (Orig. $549)

New products & more:

The iBackPack Indiegogo project is loaded with all the back-to-school technology you can imagine

Nintendo’s fall release plans revealed: Super Mario Maker bundle, Star Fox Zero, Mega Yarn Yoshi, more

Storage Stories July 3, 2015

9to56SBoard

Our look at the upcoming “iPhone 6S” continues today with a discussion of new internal components that are expected to be inside Apple’s latest smartphone. In addition to expected changes such as a Force Touch display, upgraded camera system, and new Qualcomm LTE chip for up to twice-as-fast data speeds, the next iPhone will likely include updated NFC hardware, fewer and more efficient chips, and new flash memory that may nonetheless remain at a 16GB minimum capacity.

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Storage Stories June 29, 2015

a9

The Korea Times today reports that Apple is in negotiations with Samsung to have the company supply the flash memory for the next-gen iPhone models. Currently, the flash storage is provided by Toshiba, SK hynix and SanDisk. The report also notes that Apple is looking to increase the storage capacity of its iPhone models.

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Storage Stories June 15, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iPad Air 128GB Wi-Fi + LTE $449, Timbuk2 30% off, network UPS w/ USB ports $48, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

iPad Air 128GB LTE, Folio Case, more: $449 shipped, tax in NY ($280 off), iPad mini 3 $100 off, more

Timbuk2 30% off sitewide: Command Messenger Bag 2015 $97 (Reg. $149), much more

Keep your Wi-Fi and iPhone running during a power outage w/ APC’s Back-UPS Connect for $48 shipped (Orig. $80)

$10 Lumsing Father’s Day deals: 10,400mAh power bank (Reg. $20), Bluetooth speaker w/NFC (Reg. $16), USB chargers, more

Belkin is set to take on Philips Hue with its new WeMo smart home LED bundles

Ondesoft Mac Bundle with X-Mirage, iTunes Converter, Audiobook Converter and more: free ($146 value)

$50 iTunes gift card for $40 shipped

iTunes cards buy one, get one 30% off at Target, email delivery or 10% off at Best Buy

Restaurant and apparel gift cards 20% off: JCPenney, T.G.I. Friday’s, Legal Seafood, Steak n’ Shake, Jiffy Lube, more

Quick Review: Kano’s Raspberry Pi 2 computer kit shines as a learning tool for kids and DIYers alike

More new gear from today:

Seagate 8TB Backup Plus USB 3 Desktop Drive: $250 shipped (6TB: $200, 5TB: $134)

Samsung’s T1 Portable SSDs are smaller than a business card, now on sale: 250GB $98, 500GB $198, 1TB $398

More deals still alive:

App Store Free App of the Week: Slayin endless RPG goes free for the first time ($1 value

Charge up to four USB devices at once w/ this RAVPower Desktop Charger for $9 Prime shipped (Reg. $16), more

New products & more:

Giveaway: The DODOcase $80 Apple Watch and iPhone charging solution stands out amongst the rest

Parrot details new drones with upgraded specs for land, water and air

Storage Stories May 29, 2015

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Google Photos

My relationship with Apple’s hardware is simple: I’m happily locked in, and not changing platforms any time soon. But my relationship with Apple’s software is complex: I want to love it, but every time Apple decides to “throw everything away” and “start over” with an app, it’s disruptive — and for many users, unnecessary. From my perspective, users weren’t complaining that Apple’s popular photo apps iPhoto or Aperture were hopelessly broken or even deficient in major ways, yet Apple discontinued both of them last month to release Photos, a bare-bones alternative no one seems to love. On the relationship scale, I didn’t abandon Aperture; Aperture abandoned me (and a lot of other people).

So yesterday’s announcement of the free cross-platform photo and video storage app Google Photos couldn’t have come at a better time. Apple has struggled to explain why it now offers two separate photo syncing services, neither with the virtually unlimited photo and video storage Google is now giving users — notably all users, including Mac and iOS users. Moreover, Apple has offered no sign that it’s going to drop the steep fees it’s charging for iCloud photo storage. With WWDC just around the corner, Apple has a big opportunity to match Google’s photo and video initiative, thrilling its customers in the process. If that doesn’t happen, I’m moving my collection into Google Photos, and not looking back…

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Storage Stories April 30, 2015

grandwide-2

“My Mac used to be fast, but now it’s running so slow.” I’ve heard many versions of this complaint, and they’re always factually true, not just opinions: Macs do become sluggish over time, even if all of their chips and hard drives are working like new.

I’ve devoted several columns to hardware solutions — replacing old hard drives with fast new SSDs, adding more RAM, and increasing storage capacity using an external drive — but there are software solutions, too. Even die-hard Apple fans will admit that Macs typically run new OS X versions better (faster, and with fewer bugs) if you start with a clean slate: completely wipe your hard drive, do a fresh install of the latest OS X release, and restore only the files you need. That’s not as hard as it sounds, but it’s a radical and fairly time-consuming solution.

This How-To article offers a simpler alternative. First, find and delete enough files to leave your Mac at least 50GB of free storage capacity — enough room for the Mac to work without pausing to manage its hard drive space. Next, cleanse the cruft OS X builds up in the background as you use your computer. Below, I’ll show you how two completely free Mac programs, GrandPerspective and OnyX, will do all the heavy lifting for you. GrandPerspective offers a highly visual display of what’s taking up space on your Mac; Onyx cleans up the Mac files you’d be afraid to touch yourself…

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Storage Stories April 21, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iPad Air 128GB $500, 13″ Retina MacBook Pro w/ Force Touch $1,100, 11″ MacBook Air $800, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Apple iPad Air 128GB Wi-Fi + AT&T Cellular $500 (Orig. $929), iPad Air 2 128GB Wi-Fi $590 (Reg. $699)

Get ready for Apple Watch w/ a pair of battery-saving Bluetooth 4.0 earbuds starting at $14 shipped

Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drives: Toshiba 1TB $50 (Orig. $75), 3-Pack Seagate 1.5TB $150 ($210 value), more

Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive $120 shipped (Orig. $250)

HooToo TripMate Wireless N Travel Router w/ USB port $15 Prime shipped (Reg. $20)

iTunes Free App of the Week: Pursuit of Light ($1 value)

Review: Moleskine’s new myCloud Smallpack offers plentiful storage in a tidy design, $150 giveaway

More new gear from today:

XYZprinting daVinci 1.0 3D Printer $350 shipped (Orig. $500)

More deals still alive:

Headphones: Audio-Technica QuietPoint over-ears $100 (Reg. $150+), Sennheiser HD 202 on-ears $15 (Reg. $24), more

Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR (refurb) w/ 18-55mm Lens Kit $336 shipped (Orig. $599), more

New products & more:

Sony’s new 43-75″ 4K UHDTVs bring an incredibly thin design, pre-orders start today

Storage Stories March 20, 2015

SAMSUNG CSC

There are now several companies selling USB thumb drives for iPhone and iPad since the first ones with built-in Lightning connectors debuted late last year. By connecting a small and lightweight thumb drive directly to your iOS device, you can avoid limitations of onboard storage and cloud services and instead store and stream media like music, video, and photos using the drive’s additional storage.

A few things to consider when searching for the right Lightning drive: some have a battery that requires charging, companion apps for managing and streaming content from an iOS device vary in quality, and I found some have designs that make using the drives and your iOS device at the same time easier than others. Lastly, pricing varies quite a bit based on the the options below with drives ranging from 8GB to 256GB and other options offering bring-your-own storage using a micro SD card slot. expand full story

Storage Stories February 17, 2015

New-Cloud-storage-integration-for-Office-1

Microsoft is today rolling out an update to its Office apps for iOS devices bringing the ability to save to iCloud and tap into storage from other services across all three apps. expand full story

Storage Stories October 27, 2014

Microsoft OneDrive now provides unlimited cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft on Monday announced that it will be eliminating its top-tier cloud storage plan and offering unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers at no additional cost. The change will begin rolling out today for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers and will continue over the coming months.

Storage Stories October 3, 2014

iStick-Hyper-01

While most of my content goes straight to the cloud these days and is usually easily accessible to move around, download or stream from any of my devices, I still found myself getting a lot of use out of Hyper’s new iStick. It’s one of the first made-for-iPhone USB flash drives that also includes an integrated Lightning connector to easily transfer content to and from the device to others. Hyper’s companion app is what makes the experience more than just storage, however… expand full story

Storage Stories September 10, 2014

New iCloud plans go live, up to 1 TB of storage space now available for purchase

Yesterday Apple revealed the finalized pricing for its revamped iCloud plans, but at the time they weren’t available for purchase. Today the plans have officially gone live for all customers. As you can see in the screenshot above, users can now buy up to 1 TB of storage space, which will cost $19.99 per month.

You can upgrade your current iCloud plan through the iCloud settings on your iOS device or Mac running an iCloud-compatible version of its operating system. Since the plans are account-based and not device-based, you’ll have access to all of that storage on all of your other devices, as well.

Apple is also refunding existing customers and automatically upgrading them:

We recently announced new, more affordable iCloud storage plans. As a thank you for being a current iCloud storage plan subscriber, we’ve increased your storage plan and you will be receiving a refund based on the reduced plan price.

Your plan has been upgraded from 15 GB of total storage at $20.00 a year to 20 GB at just $10.99 a year. You will receive a prorated refund of $0.52, which is based on the price reduction and the remaining months on your subscription. On September 30, 2014 this 20GB plan will automatically renew and you will be charged $10.99.

We increased the amount of storage in our new plans so you can get most out of our new features like iCloud Drive, which lets you store and access any type of file from all your devices. All edits you make are automatically updated, which means you’ll always have access to the latest version of all your documents. If you need more storage, you can choose a different plan from iCloud Settings at any time, right from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. Learn more about iCloud storage pricing.

The iCloud Team NOTE: This annually priced storage plan is only available to current iCloud storage plan subscribers. You may cancel or downgrade from your device at any time. If you choose to change to one of our new plans, you won’t be able to switch back to this annual plan. You can contact Apple for a refund within 15 days of an upgrade. Partial refunds are available where required by law.

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