Apple's Secure Video HomeKit Feature Requires a 200GB or 2TB iCloud Storage Plan

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,511



Apple at WWDC announced a new HomeKit feature called HomeKit Secure Video, which is designed to offer up a better, more secure way to manage the footage captured by in-home security cameras.

As Apple's Craig Federighi explained on stage when announcing the feature, many current home security cameras upload data to the cloud for analysis to enable features like motion detection.


Cameras that support HomeKit Secure Video will leverage the iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod (aka Home Hub devices) to analyze video right in your home. Video feeds will be encrypted end-to-end and uploaded to iCloud where you and you alone will be able to see the footage.

Like existing home security cameras, Apple will send you notifications if activity is detected so recordings can be reviewed; the entire process is just more secure.

Apple is providing 10 days of "free" iCloud storage for video content that will not count against your iCloud data plan limits, but as announced on Monday, a higher-end iCloud storage plan is required.

For one Secure Video camera, a 200GB iCloud storage plan is required, while you need the 2TB plan for up to 5 cameras. In the United States, 200GB of storage is priced at $2.99 per month, while 2TB of storage is priced at $9.99 per month.

Many camera companies that offer cloud storage do charge monthly fees for data access, so Apple's decision to require a $2.99 to $9.99 per month fee isn't a major surprise, and a lot more utility is provided with an Apple iCloud storage plan than one from Logitech or Eufy.

Apple says that Netatmo, Logitech, and Eufy will be among the first companies to provide cameras with HomeKit Secure Video support, suggesting new hardware is required to take advantage of the Secure Video capabilities.

Along with HomeKit Secure Video, Apple also announced HomeKit for routers, which will provide further protection for your smart devices. HomeKit for routers will firewall off each device so if one is compromised, the others will remain safe. Linksys, Eero, and Charter Spectrum will be the first companies to offer HomeKit-compatible routers.

Apple made a few other changes to the Home app that are worth checking out for those invested in HomeKit, which can be seen into our deep dive of the Home app in iOS 13.

Article Link: Apple's Secure Video HomeKit Feature Requires a 200GB or 2TB iCloud Storage Plan
 

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,160
2,698
Chicago
I love it when all the truth comes out a few days after the keynote.
I really don't think $3 is much of an issue for someone actually wanting to keep their recordings. Thats how much Ring charges for 1 camera.

I misread things. Still $10 is in line with what the other guys charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ignatius345

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,160
2,698
Chicago
Apple is a fine print company now.

It's all about that bottom line these days rather than having customers naturally and willingly buy in deeper into the ecosystem.

Glassed Silver:mac
$3 per month is nothing. That is what Ring charges per camera.

I misread things, but still $10 is in line with what the other guys charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TimSHB and haruhiko

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,172
2,037
Apple is extremely competitive and generous here.

Google's Nest Aware costs $5/month (or $50/year) for a single camera with 5-day history. And the next step up, $10/month (or $100/year) matches Apple's 10-day history but is still limited to a single camera. Each subsequent camera costs half the price. So if you have 5 cameras, it will cost $150/year for 5-day history or $300/year for 10-day history. Let's not forget that Google uploads every single footage into the cloud, sucking up a lot of bandwidth (for 5 cameras, more than 1 TB per month).

Amazon's Ring Protect costs $3/month (or $30/year) for a single camera with 60 days or $10/month (or $100/year) for any number of cameras for 60 days.

Apple is charging $3/month for 1 camera with 10-day history that happens to also include 200 GB of storage for backup and iCloud storage. Or $10/month for 5 cameras and 2 TB.
 

PastaPrimav

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2017
779
1,247
Craig was careful to say 'clips' I think anyone expecting to scroll through days of constant video recordings will be disappointed.
Anyone looking for this needs a real NVR system.

These products are consumer products, and the emphasis on motion-triggered recordings only, instead of 24/7 recording, is what makes these products possible, to be quite honest.

This change to HomeKit is huge. I don't want home recordings going to the cloud, period. Hopefully this is one HomeKit endeavor that is actually adopted by real products (why in the hell is Apple not subsidizing someone somewhere to bring quality Home products to market?????).
 

kromix

macrumors member
Feb 8, 2011
86
2
So My question(s) are....

1) Will my current HomeKit Compatible Logitech Circle 2 be able to use this Apple Secure Video cloud storage?

2) Isn't this a huge profit loss for vendors if I can just switch from paying Logitech to Paying Apple? Are they going to profit share some how or is Apple just strong-arming vendors into losing money?
 

Maniamac

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2007
60
3
FYI, HomeKit Secure Video does NOT necessarily require new hardwire. On June 4, Netatmo announced on Twitter that "[...] a free, automatic firmware update will add HomeKit Secure Video compatibility to new and existing Netatmo Smart Indoor Cameras and Smart Outdoor Cameras later this year."
 

Bistroengine

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2004
204
81
Now we know why HomeKit enabled Video Doorbells and Indoor Security Cameras were taking so long. Hopefully, some manufacturers will be able to firmware/software update their devices to take advantage of this new API.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dabotsonline

eroslws

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2011
352
415
Apple is a fine print company now.

It's all about that bottom line these days rather than having customers naturally and willingly buy in deeper into the ecosystem.

Glassed Silver:mac
Apple is becoming a services company now, what's your point? Sales of hardware will continue to plateau as phones stay relevant for longer (iPhone 6s is still good for another year for most people, the original Retina MacBook Pro suits most people 7 years later).
 

verniesgarden

macrumors 65816
May 29, 2007
1,076
566
Portland, Or
So My question(s) are....

1) Will my current HomeKit Compatible Logitech Circle 2 be able to use this Apple Secure Video cloud storage?

2) Isn't this a huge profit loss for vendors if I can just switch from paying Logitech to Paying Apple? Are they going to profit share some how or is Apple just strong-arming vendors into losing money?
I have the same first question as you, but from working on an IOT product, they reduction in server costs for Logitech might be worth it. that fee they charge probably doesn't have much profit margin. Cloud is one of the most expensive parts of the product.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dabotsonline

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,172
2,037
Craig was careful to say 'clips' I think anyone expecting to scroll through days of constant video recordings will be disappointed.
To me, this is a plus.

I have a couple of Nest cameras and they suck up a lot of bandwidth, or about 1 Mbps of upload bandwidth per camera (which is a lot when Comcast only offers 6 Mbps of upload bandwidth) and about 300 GB/month per camera (which is also a lot as Comcast and many others offer only 1 TB per month).

If you have super fast unlimited Internet, that may be what you want of course.