Get to know iCloud Drive
ICloud Drive enables you to put things online from all of your devices
When you sign into an iCloud account on your iPhone, your device is able to sync data such as Safari bookmarks, the keychain that contains your website usernames and passwords, calendars, reminders and contacts to the cloud – and from there to your other devices. This works in reverse too, so any changes you make on another Apple device (or by signing in to icloud.com) are synced to all of your devices, including your iPhone. It isn’t just the more minor pieces of data that are synced, though.
iCloud is also able to store documents, just as you would on a drive attached to your Mac, enabling you to update those files wherever you have access to an app that can open them, and keeping them in sync between devices, too. For example, you might enter data in a spreadsheet in Numbers on your iPhone. As long as your iPhone has been able to connect to the internet (and the same is true of the device you switch to), you can be assured that the spreadsheet will be available on, say, your Mac, so you can write up a report about your data later on if you like.
With the introduction of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple has changed the way in which documents are stored and browsed in iCloud. The old system, called Documents in the Cloud, provided strictly separated areas for each app’s files. Its replacement, iCloud Drive, is far more flexible, as it works much like the Finder in OS X.
iCloud Drive can store documents from different apps in the same folder, and you can nest folders inside each other so that things are organised exactly as you want them to be. iCloud Drive retains the previous system’s tagging feature, which enables you to assign keywords to files and then search for them instead of filenames.
We’ll show you how to enable iCloud Drive, but this comes with a word of caution: if you need to access documents stored in iCloud on a Mac that is unable to run OS X Yosemite, you should refrain from enabling iCloud Drive and stick with the old system; when you do, files that you stored in the old Documents in the Cloud system won’t be automatically kept in sync on older versions of OS X. The same is true if any of your devices are not yet running iOS 8. Alan Stonebridge