Are you tired of deleting and replacing files on your iPhone or iPad every time due to low storage? It’s time to move to a cloud solution.
Cloud storage comes in handy as a remote repository to store personal information off your device to keep it lighter and faster. These include photos, videos, app data, and more. Even without your phone, data stored on the cloud is safer and more accessible, retrievable, and shareable from anywhere around the world.
While Apple offers iCloud, pairing this with another cloud storage app from the App Store means more cloud storage space. Read on to explore the 9 best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad out there for the job.
1. iCloud+ – Editor’s choice
For those who want extra storage but don’t want to move outside the Apple ecosystem, there’s iCloud+. Knowing that the free 5GB base storage of iCloud gets exhausted in no time, Apple introduced iCloud+, a subscription-based cloud storage plan.
To start using extra storage, you need to upgrade your iCloud plan to iCloud+. One of its unique features is it lets you share storage space with family members. Hence, you all can keep your files in sync in one location and access them anytime, anywhere.
The plans are also cheap. iCloud+ subscription starts with as low as $0.99 monthly for as high as 50GB storage. And if that’s not enough, you can opt for higher plans. These include $2.99 monthly for 200GB and $9.99 monthly for 2TB. To understand iCloud+ better, you can look at how iCloud+ works.
While iCloud is highly recommended for Apple users, it isn’t exclusive to it. Android and Windows users can create an Apple ID and buy iCLoud storage. However, it won’t work as seamlessly.
- Built-in storage plan
- No need to install any extra app
- Syncing is fast and automated
- Cheap subscription
- Share storage with family members
- Top-notch security
- It reverts to the 5GB storage when the subscription ends
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $0.99)
2. Dropbox – Best for file organization
Dropbox offers a set of tools for storing and organizing your files in the cloud. The app is easy to use and has a sleek user interface with a great experience. Indeed, if you want to gain control of your files, I recommend using Dropbox.
To get started, you need to create a Dropbox account. There’re two plans: 2TB and 3TB, which it bills monthly or yearly, depending on your preference. And these also fall under different purpose preferences.
One of the striking features of Dropbox is that you can scan documents into PDF or PNG using your phone’s camera and store them easily in the cloud.
Further, the app also lets you arrange your files into folders. And the fact that you can share links to specific folders and files and invite friends to a folder means you can decide to expose only a portion of your files to other people. This is handy for viewing photo albums virtually.
Besides, you can easily upload photos and videos from your iPhone camera roll. And there’s a search icon at the top for locating folders and files quickly.
- Easily access your folders and files
- Organize files for easy access
- Features file scanner
- Upload existing photos and videos easily
- Easy to use and navigate
- Retrieve files anytime, anywhere
- Share specific folders and invite friends into a folder
- Large storage space
- Limited flexibility of storage plans
- Anyone with access to your phone can access your files
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $11.99)
3. Google Drive – Best for productivity
If you have a Google account, you have Google Drive as well. It’s one of Google’s plethora of products and offers a dedicated workspace for productivity. It allows you to access your files and make changes to them easily in real-time. Besides, folder creation is easy; you can further separate files shared with you.
While you can store photos, videos, documents, and apps on Google Drive, one of its strong points is its document management capability. Essentially, it’s a recommended option for editing documents collaboratively.
One other good thing about Google Drive is it inherits your Gmail storage space. Hence, it gives you 15GB of free cloud storage. You can buy more once you exhaust that, though.
Google Drive, however, offers cheap and flexible plans. With as low as $1.99, you can buy storage space as high as 100GB. The storage plan range is also extensive, and you can buy as high as 20TB of cloud space. In addition to syncing files and folders from your phone, you can sync from your PC or Mac as well.
However, Google Drive doesn’t support automatic syncing of Google Photos anymore. Google decoupled these since July 2019. Thus, your Google Photos sync to a separate Cloud space. Nonetheless, you can still keep your photos in Google Drive by manually uploading them.
- Free storage space is large
- Manage documents and files collaboratively
- Offers versatile productivity features
- Easily sync to and retrieve files from the cloud
- Flexible and cheap storage plans
- Offers enterprise solutions
- Arrange files smartly in folders
- Prone to password hacking
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $11.9)
4. pCloud – Most secure cloud storage
Want to encrypt some of your files in the cloud? Use pCloud.
Of course, like other cloud services, pCloud lets you store your files in the cloud, arrange them in folders, and even share them with others. But the encryption feature is one of its most striking attributes. So it’s worth mentioning from the start. At least, you’d know quickly that this isn’t just another cloud service.
Indeed, pCloud comes with users in mind, as it features tools for managing and monitoring your storage space in the cloud. It also comes with free storage of 10GB. There’re many unique features of pCloud that this space might not contain.
However, our in-depth review of pCloud will tell you more about it.
- Encrypt files and make them more secure
- Enjoy 10GB of free storage space
- Recover deleted files up to 15 days
- Features document scanning
- Offers specific folder sharing
- Rapidly sync files
- Beautiful user interface
- The encryption service is expensive
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $4.99)
5. OneDrive – Best for Microsoft fans
OneDrive offers a smooth interface for managing files remotely on your phone. The app features a unique bedtime backup that automatically uploads your files to the cloud 12 hourly.
Although OneDrive offers 5GB free storage, with an upgrade to the $1.99 monthly 100GB OneDrive plan or higher Microsoft 365 plans, you’ll have access to higher storage up to 25TB, depending on the purpose.
The sync speed of OneDrive is also impressive. When you open it for the first time, it prompts you to sign in to your Microsoft account or create one if you never had. Once logged in, it automatically syncs all your documents from Microsoft Office home on the web.
When you turn on its Camera upload feature, OneDrive syncs your photos and videos automatically. It’s also easy to manage and create folders, organize files and share them with OneDrive.
You can also scan documents and save them to OneDrive as PDFs. The scanning isn’t as clean as expected when tested, though. If you deleted a file or folder, it dumps them in the Recycle bin. So you can retrieve them if you change your mind.
- Recycle bin temporarily holds deleted files or folders
- Allows easy editing of Microsoft documents
- Scan documents easily
- Flexible pricing and storage
- Bedtime syncing chunks file storage and makes it faster
- Can be strict with its file naming conventions
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $1.99)
6. Box – Cloud storage app with to-do section
Box is more than a cloud storage app. It has all it takes to be an independent tool for productivity. The app comes with free 10GB storage space and has tools for managing and sharing files securely in the cloud. It has paid plans, but it limits this to 100GB.
Box also has a to-do section for planning and managing schedules. And it’s easy to share files with others, and you can jot instructions with its note-taking feature. This one also offers enterprise-level security. So you need not worry while sharing files and folders.
You might also want to try its e-signing capability for signing documents digitally. Another notable feature is you can record and share audio files. Indeed, it’s an excellent tool for working collaboratively in a remote setting.
In addition to scanning documents into PDFs, it lets you edit photos before uploading them to the cloud. When scanning documents or uploading photos, there’s an option for adjusting picture quality.
You can also save the GPS data of pictures. This is optional, though. But it’s handy for keeping track of where you took a picture. Ultimately, Box lets you choose to either save copies of the photos you took with the camera to your local directory or keep them in the cloud only.
- Versatile tools for productivity
- Control what goes to your cloud storage
- Excellent tool for collaboration
- Limited storage space
- Subscription isn’t flexible
Price: Free (Yearly subscription starts at $79.99)
7. SugarSync – Best free cloud storage
SugarSync is a free and easy-to-use cloud storage app. It comes with 5GB storage space, of course, with no options for expansion. Hence, once you exhaust your storage, you need to free up space or find an alternative.
To prevent syncing multiple files and cluttering your storage: there’s a protocol for checking and preventing duplicates in a destination folder. So you’re not likely to have many copies of a file in the cloud. You can also upload files on the Wi-Fi network or mobile data.
You also have access to its camera sync option to automatically store photos and videos to the cloud after recording or taking pictures. Do you have confidential files like office docs, photos, or videos? You can keep these in the protected folder, so only you can access them.
It also has storage usage stats for viewing what space you’ve left. On SugarSync, there’s a filter that helps you separate files you’ve shared with others from those they’ve shared with you.
- Suitable for getting extra storage quickly
- Completely free
- Protect selected files
- Prevents duplicate data from syncing to a destination folder
- Offers little storage
- No option for expansion
8. Mega – End-to-end encrypted storage
If you prioritize security above storage, Mega comes in handy. It uses end-to-end encryption to sync your files to the cloud. This means the platform doesn’t know anything about your files or access protocols.
There’s 20GB of free storage with an opportunity to get 5GB extra, depending on your participation in a program it calls the Mega Achievement. Nonetheless, you can go for storage as high as 16TB monthly if you don’t mind the cost.
Unfortunately and surprisingly, due to end-to-end encryption, Mega doesn’t allow you to change your password or request a new one even if you forget. So you want to paste and keep your password in a safe place where you can’t lose it to avoid losing your files.
Further, the app features a rubbish bin to keep deleted files temporarily. Another unique feature of Mega is it lets you sync your contacts to the cloud. This isn’t nearly the same as Google’s contact syncing, though. Moreover, you need to send an invitation to your contacts. And they must accept to join Mega before it syncs them to the platform.
Hence, in addition to secure file sharing, you also enjoy an end-to-end encrypted chat platform with other contacts on your device. While syncing photos and videos from the camera, it provides an option for including a location tag.
Moreover, you can also select what comes into your storage space and what doesn’t. And if you want to scan a document, Mega doesn’t pale behind other cloud apps that offer the same feature.
- Secure than most storage apps
- Recover deleted files easily
- Comes with 20GB of free storage
- Flexible plans
- Supports end-to-end encryption
- Losing or forgetting your password means losing your files
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $4.00)
9. Icedrive – Simplest interface
Icedrive has a responsive interface that makes you want to store your files in the cloud. It gives you free 10GB storage space when you first register, and you can get up to 5TB storage space with its premium plans.
Like other cloud storage apps, Icedrive lets you sync your files, including photos, videos, and documents, to the cloud and arrange them into folders. But this one also has an encrypted directory to securely stash files you don’t want any third party to access. This comes with the premium plan, though.
It’s also platform-agnostic, and you can share documents across several devices, including PC, Mac, and Android. There’s a manual method for syncing files. Or you can do that automatically with its camera syncing feature, which is available in Settings and supports selective upload.
File syncing can be a bit slow, though, but comes through in the end. And it also helps to convert HEIC photos to jpeg. This helps cut upload time significantly.
- Easy to navigate
- Supports selective syncing
- Access shared files from any device
- Features an inbuilt image converter
- Flexible storage plans
- File syncing can be slow
- Encryption is only available in premium
Price: Free (Subscription starts at $3.99)
Now that you know the benefits of cloud storage and have seen the best cloud storage apps out there, it’s probably time to start taking their advantage, especially if you store large files on your iPhone or iPad.
Most of these apps support Android as well. The functioning and interface are also often the same. So feel free to grab one, regardless of your device type.
Which of these apps do you plan to go for? Let me know in the comments. I’m using iCloud+, though. Apple fan, forever!
- How to create Dropbox-like links in iCloud drive on iPhone and iPad
- Recover deleted files from iCloud on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows
- How to upload photos into iCloud photos from iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Idowu is an avid tech writer and a software surfer who loves covering knowledge gaps in consumer software, including anything related to iPhones. Well, when he's not reading and learning new things, you'll find Idowu losing gallantly on a solid chessboard or virtually on Lichess.