The Apple One subscription bundles start rolling out today (Oct. 30), and I'm signing up as soon as I possibly can. I didn't expect I'd say that either, until I realized how much I was already spending on one of Apple's services.
Yes, for me, it's all iCloud's fault. Or should I say it's all because of my iCloud Photo Library. But before I get to that, let's go over what I'm getting for my monthly payment with Apple One.
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Apple One starts at $15 per month, giving you Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud Storage. At the $20 Family tier, you get an extra 200GB of iCloud, and the option to share your plan with up to 5 people.
The Premier plan costs $30, and adds on Apple News Plus and the upcoming Apple Fitness Plus — and expands your iCloud storage to 2TB. Again, you can share that with up to 5 other users.
Apple One plans, prices and services
|Individual ($14.95 per month)||Family ($19.95 per month)||Premier ($29.95 per month)|
|Apple Music||Apple Music||Apple Music|
|Apple TV Plus||Apple TV Plus||Apple TV Plus|
|Apple Arcade||Apple Arcade||Apple Arcade|
|50GB of iCloud storage||200GB of iCloud storage||2TB of iCloud storage|
|Apple News Plus|
|Apple Fitness Plus|
As you might expect, you're saving more as you spend more — though you could save a lot by not subscribing to any of them — with Individual giving you $6 off per month, and $8 off per month with the Family plan and $25 off with the Premier plan.
Apple's services add up fast
At the moment, I'm firmly locked into two of Apple's services, and I appreciate two others enough to sign up for Apple One. The $9.99 per month Apple Music has a cloud storage has helped me hang onto rare releases that won't likely ever get official releases, a feature that other streaming services just don't offer.
Apple TV Plus ($4.99 per month) just won my continued interest with the excellent Ted Lasso, which just got renewed for two more seasons. Its Beastie Boys Story film and Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet were also good, while The Morning Show took a while to "get good."
Apple Arcade (also $4.99 per month) is also one of the services that I'm more appreciative of than tied to, and I keep finding myself turning it off and on, likely the kind of behavior that Apple's trying to fight off.
On top of that, I've got more than 135,000 photos and 2,990 videos in my Photos app, which pushes me beyond the 200GB plan of Apple Cloud, into the $9.99 per month 2TB plan I pay for. This is where I'm both happy and annoyed with my decision to stay with Apple's services.
Apple only offers three iCloud storage capacities: 50GB for $0.99 per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month and 2TB for $9.99. Why it doesn't offer a 1TB plan — I'm only using 650GB of my 2TB of iCloud storage, and this wasted space I'm paying for feels utterly wasteful.
I'm buying Apple One for two freebies
And if you're not doing the math for yourself at home: all of the above totals the same $30 per month that Apple One Premier costs. So it makes a lot of sense for me to just buy the whale-sized package, if that gets me Apple News Plus and the upcoming Apple Fitness Plus — both of which cost $9.99 per month on their own.
Apple News Plus will likely have its moments of helping me avoid paywalls I'm already resisting (I pay for the New York Times, which left Apple News Plus in August), but I honestly think Apple Fitness Plus is going to be the big win for me.
As we live in the workout-from-home era — you can't convince me it's safe to go to a gym during this pandemic — I've relied on the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure game to help me stay limber during these last months. That's been good so far, but I can tell I'm probably getting closer to the end of that game, and it's getting a bit repetitive after 3 months of daily half-hour exercise.
Apple Fitness Plus, though, seems to have tons of variety, and much better activity monitoring — as it connects right to my Apple Watch, unlike Ring Fit Adventure which always fails to accurately measure time spent working out.
That being said, I've already set a reminder for 29 days after my Apple One membership begins. And I'll set another one for 29 days after Apple Fitness Plus starts up. Why? Because when you're dealing with monthly services, there's no need to set it and forget it, when you can save money on your own, by just not spending as much overall.