Student iCloud Account Limits

25 March 2018

Bradley Chambers:

Managed Apple IDs are also not as private as regular accounts. The IT administrator can change your password or delete your account. They are useful because schools can roll them out to teachers and students to use with their Apple devices.

One key feature of these Apple IDs lack is iCloud storage upgrades. There is no way for the school or the end-user to buy additional storage. The accounts are limited to 5 GB each. The low storage total means that students can’t rely on iCloud Photo Library for media syncing (iPhone video to iPad for editing) without continually having to delete content. This limit will hinder a student’s ability to store large Keynote documents in iCloud Drive. If teachers have a managed Apple ID from the school, they will face the same limitations. Again, there is no way around this. These accounts simply do not support upgrades.

These are incredibly basic changes that are critically important to expanding the appeal of iOS deployments to schools. The 5 GB storage stinginess has been written about so much as a mainstream customer complaint, but at least it is possible to pay for more. Limiting school-managed accounts to 5 GB per user, with no expansion options offered, is just crippling. Of course, Tuesday’s event at a Chicago school would be the perfect venue to address these pain points but will they? These are not fresh complaints; the problems have existed for years.

There’s no way a student can be expected to get through years of modern schooling with a 5 GB storage drive. Pushing the free tier one level higher (making 50 GB standard for everyone) would probably be enough. Apple could make special exceptions for education deployments, but it’d be nice if 50 GB became the new baseline for all Apple hardware customers. Apple would still have plenty of up-sell subscription opportunities with the higher 200 GB and 2 TB tiers, that include family sharing perks.