The Culling Continues: Blowing away iCloud Photos

While this is independent of the rather freaky story on MacRumors about corrupted videos and photos from unknown sources appearing on iCloud for Windows, I have still decided to ultimately turn off iCloud Photos. The biggest downside to this is I’ll no longer have photos taken on my iPhone automatically be made available on other devices, which is an admittedly nice feature.

Turning this off also means I’ll no longer have a backup of my photos on Apple’s servers (which may not be a bad thing if the above story hints to the stability and security of their infrastructure), so I’ll need an alternative. Here’s my plan, because I love a good plan and also lists:

  • Store photos in another cloud service. I have OneDrive, and it’s already automatically uploading photos from my phone to its cloud server, so this part is happening now.
  • Store photos in a NAS (local network storage). I’ve had a Synology NAS for awhile and have now set up the Synology Photos app to backup my photos from the phone. I’ll move the photos over in batches (I have…a few) until they are all in place, then will have the app on the phone set to only upload new photos going forward.

Once I have both of the above in place, I’ll delete the photos I have stored in iCloud and then turn off iCloud Photos. This will also make it easier to drop all Apple services save for Apple Music (I’m still paying for 200 GB of iCloud storage), and make it easier to move to a different phone in the future if I decide to do that.

You may be thinking I am souring on Apple–and you would be right! But that is a rant for another day.

The Great Culling of 2022 Continues

Yesterday I trimmed down a few more subscriptions. Yes, I am the poster boy for subscription fatigue. Beware, SaaS purveyors!

  • After dropping the Todoist sub, I have now also dropped the TickTick sub. I’ll see how the free version goes, but if it proves too limiting, I’m already running Microsoft’s To Do, and it seems to meet my needs, even if it’s “My Day” feature is a bit weird compared to a more conventional “Today” list (mainly, you have to move stuff to My Day, as it always starts blank).
  • Apple emailed me announcing my already expensive Apple One Premier subscription was going from $33.95 a month to $37.95 a month. Since they made $20 billion in PROFIT just last quarter, I opted to slim down to the Apple One Family package for $24.95 per month. I suspect the company will manage to scrape by. And I’ll save $13 by not getting stuff I don’t need, like:
    • Fitness+: I have literally never used this.
    • Apple News+: An ad-riddled hellscape, even as a paid service.
    • 2TB iCloud storage: I’m using 150 GB and only because of my photos. The new plan gives me 200GB. Since I’m now using OneDrive for photos, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Apple has become a fat, greedy company that seems determined to worsen the customer experience in exchange for squeezing as much revenue out of everyone as they can. I don’t think the company is going to fail or anything, but I think the long, gradual decline has begun. Maybe the ghost of Steve Jobs will visit Tim Cook at Christmas and be all, “WTF you doing, Tim?” and then Tim will retire on the few dollars he has put aside. BUT NOT $48 PER YEAR OF MY FEW DOLLARS. TAKE THAT, TIM.

Anyway, the number of subs I have is much slimmer now than at the start of 2022. My email is no longer full of newsletters I no longer read. I feel much less burdened now. And I like it!

The culling continues: MyFitnessPal ain’t no friend of mine

Or: Subscription fatigue, Chapter 21.

A few years back, Under Armour sold MyFitnessPal to a venture capitalist firm. Recently, the app (not website) was updated to make the starting screen more convenient for premium users, and…less so for free users (who see ads instead).

I was okay with this, because free is free, and I tolerated the ads on the iOS version. I primarily use the web version, anyway.

However, the company has now announced that the ability to scan barcodes is being locked behind a subscription. It’s not a huge deal for me in practical terms, because I rarely eat new packaged foods that I’d need to scan (I’m trying to eat more natural stuff like fruits and veggies that are not canned, bottled or whatnot), but it’s something I do use occasionally. I find it odd and irritating that MFP would gate this behind a pricey subscription ($20 US per month or $80 US per year), but it’s obvious they are relying on a sizable chunk of its user base to pony up to make mad money from them.

I won’t be paying, and this is further incentive to find an alternative to the app/site, even though I have a streak that spans over 9.5 years:

Apps/sites I am currently mulling:

  • Cronometer (it seems decent but gates some stuff behind a sub, including a few things that are still free on MFP)
  • FatSecret (seems good, but the UI is pretty utilitarian)
  • Macros
  • Lose It! (yes, they use an exclamation point!)
  • Others, possibly

I am currently using Noom, which is paid, but that’s only for three months, after which I will drop it–it was more to motivate me to lose weight than to become a permanent diet/exercise tracker. It’s been working, too, or it’s just a fancy coincidence that my weight started dropping a lot more once I started using it.

As of today, I am 160.4 pounds, with a 150 pound goal. On January 1 I was 182.8 pounds. That, on my body, is rather chunky.

I’ll post again after giving some of the alternatives some time. I’m not even opposed to paying on an ongoing basis, but the cost needs to be really reasonable (Noom is not, hence using it strictly as a boost to get started).