Apple Is One Step Away From Ruining iCloud Drive

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.56.01 PM.png

iOS 8 was released a while ago, but I am still waiting for the official debut of Mac OS X Yosemite before making any conclusions regarding the iCloud Drive. I was very excited about its first announcement during the WWDC, but recently I am having some serious concerns about the future of Apple's new cloud based service.

Limited accessibility on iOS devices

Apple is positioning the iCloud Drive as a direct competitor to Dropbox, but judging from what we have seen so far, Dropbox have nothing to worry about. In my opinion, the biggest threat to iCloud Drive's ambitions is its weak accessibility on iOS devices.

Apple is continuing to focus on integrating the iCloud deep into the apps, which has some advantages, but at the same time, makes it harder to access some kind of files on iOS devices. I strongly believe that in order to compete with Dropbox and other cloud storage services, Apple should release a standalone iOS app for iCloud Drive

Any kind of file on any device

As it says on a screenshot from Apple website above, users are supposed to have the freedom of working with any document on any device. Apple is trying to make it as clear as possible that you can access 'any kind of file' on 'any device', but unfortunately, as of today, users need to use the 3rd party apps like Documents or Dropbox to access some files stored in their iCloud Drive.

Considering the fact that Apple is charging the premium price for its online storage, a limited accessibility on iOS is a huge disadvantage and a deal breaker for many users. Of course, Apple can still release the iOS app with an official release of Mac OS X Yosemite in October, and all concerns will disappear, but it is also possible that Apple will leave the users only with 3rd party solutions.

 Settings app on iOS

Settings app on iOS

 File picker in Documents app

File picker in Documents app

 Access to iCloud Drive in Dropbox

Access to iCloud Drive in Dropbox

Right now Apple provides the access to iCloud Drive on iOS devices via the file picker interface, which can be built into the apps, but first has to be supported by developers. iOS users still can see and delete the files they have in iCloud Drive by using the default Settings app on iOS, but even this process is very complicated and do not provide any basic sharing capabilities.

iCloud Photo Library integration with iCloud Drive

Another question about iCloud Drive is how it is going to coexist with iCloud Photo Library, the new service from Apple that lets users store their entire photo libraries in the cloud. I think that Apple will not combine two services and will just limit the access to the photos to a standalone Photos app for iCloud, which I believe will be released at the same time as Photos app for Mac OS X at the beginning of next year.

There is no doubt that iCloud Drive has a huge potential, so I hope that Apple will make the right moves and make it a real competitor to Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft's OneDrive. I hope we will get some answer about the future of iCloud Drive during the special event, which Apple is expected to hold in October for the release of Yosemite and the next generations of iPad. 

Do you think that Apple should release a standalone iCloud Drive app for iOS or should they just continue to concentrate on integrating the iCloud into the system? If you tried to use iCloud Drive, what do you think about it so far? Feel free to share your opinion with us.

Eldar Gezalov3 Comments