Get to know iCloud Drive

ICloud Drive en­ables you to put things on­line from all of your de­vices

Mac Format - - IMPROVE | IOS -

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 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

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