Help me understand iCloud picture backup on a 16 G iPhone 4S

MBPnoob

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
108
28
I have now filled up my 5 gigs of free iCloud and all 16 gigs of iPhone storage (10 of which are pics/vids). All of these pics and vids are of my newborn daughter and I want to keep them for all time.

My wife and I are open to the idea of buying more iCloud backup storage, for example, the 50 gigs for $100 a year. My question is, if we buy the 55 gigs of iCloud storage, can we only use 16 gigs? As I currently understand, the iCloud iPhone backup is an exact 1-to-1 copy of your iPhone.. an add on your phone is an add on the cloud backup and a delete is a delete on both... thus you would never use more then your iPhone's storage size.

Other options we are throwing around is paid Dropbox and external HDD storage. We would much rather store offsite incase of a disaster like fire or weather.

Please help us understand the iCloud storage :) Thanks!:D
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
107
Yardley, PA
If you buy the 50GB of storage on iCloud, you can use all of those 50GB of storage. What will happen is you will backup your 16GB phone to its capacity, and have the rest of the 50GB of iCloud storage for other backups and storage.

Don't forget that your iCloud account can be used on multiple devices and thus have multiple backups.
 

MBPnoob

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
108
28
If you buy the 50GB of storage on iCloud, you can use all of those 50GB of storage. What will happen is you will backup your 16GB phone to its capacity, and have the rest of the 50GB of iCloud storage for other backups and storage.

Don't forget that your iCloud account can be used on multiple devices and thus have multiple backups.
Ah, so our iPhone 4 16 + an iPad 32 = 48 (which is most/all of the storage). Thank you for helping me understand.

I guess I was expecting a "Drag and Drop" style of backup (see: Dropbox) instead of a "device" backup. Maybe we will get lucky one day and Apple will let us have a Dropbox-like service.
 

ScottW1

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2010
132
5
NW Washington, USA
As I currently understand, the iCloud iPhone backup is an exact 1-to-1 copy of your iPhone.. thus you would never use more then your iPhone's storage size.
Not everything on the phone is in the iCloud backup. For example, items synced to the iPhone from iTunes (i.e., music, podcasts, photos) are NOT in the backup.

Photos and videos in "camera roll" are backed up, and it sounds like that is what is making your backup so large. If you were to copy those to your computer, delete them from the iPhone camera roll, then sync them back to the phone from iTunes as an "album" -- they would still be on your iPhone, but would not be part of the backup and would not use any iCloud space. (Just be sure you have a good backup of your computer, since in this scenario it becomes the "primary" copy of your photos/videos.)