Master iCloud Drive

IDisk is back in the shape of iCloud Drive, Ap­ple’s an­swer to Drop­box

Mac Format - - ICLOUD -

Ap­ple's iDisk was part of Mo­bileMe and pro­vided 20GB of online stor­age, but it dis­ap­peared when the ser­vice was taken off­line. It took un­til 2013 for a re­place­ment to de­but in the form of iCloud Drive, with its struc­tured online stor­age. It’s ac­ces­si­ble from within iOS and OS X apps, and as a free-form online file repos­i­tory through OS X’s Fin­der, where you’ll find iCloud Drive in the side­bar.

iCloud Drive works with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite or later, plus Win­dows 7 or later. You can also ac­cess it through a browser at icloud. com/icloud­drive. Your iCloud Drive stor­age space is counted as part of your over­all iCloud quota, so drop­ping large files here for the sake of back­ing them up will re­duce the amount of space you have left for your photo li­brary, email, iWork doc­u­ments and so on.

iCloud Drive on OS X At present, OS X is the most flex­i­ble sys­tem for work­ing with iCloud Drive. By de­fault, Drive is ac­ces­si­ble from the side­bar. Click it and you can nav­i­gate the ap­pli­ca­tion-spe­cific fold­ers (App Li­braries) cre­ated by some iOS and Mac apps.

Delete files by drop­ping them in the Trash, and upload them by drag­ging them onto Drive as you would with other stor­age. You can cre­ate new fold­ers within Drive by press­ing ç+n – in­clud­ing sub­fold­ers within an App Li­brary, but you’re not re­stricted to, say, sav­ing Pages doc­u­ments in its li­brary; files from a va­ri­ety of apps can be grouped how­ever makes sense to you. Open­ing a file launches the rel­e­vant ap­pli­ca­tion on your Mac, just as it would for a doc­u­ment that’s only stored lo­cally.

iCloud Drive on iOS In iOS 8, apps need to be writ­ten with iCloud Drive sup­port in mind to be able to save to and open files from it. Depend­ing on the app, you might only be able to see its App Li­brary, though many re­cent apps pro­vide ac­cess to a doc­u­ment picker that en­ables you to browse Drive much like you would in the Fin­der. iOS recog­nises which file types an app can open and of­fers a lim­ited abil­ity to open, say, a doc­u­ment from a third-party writ­ing tool such as By­word in Pages.

iOS 9 looks set to be much more flex­i­ble when it comes to ac­cess­ing Drive. De­vel­op­ers, who have al­ready got their hands on pre-re­lease ver­sions of it, have found an op­tion to show a ded­i­cated iCloud Drive app on the Home screen. The app dis­plays a sim­i­lar view of iCloud Drive to the one shown in Fin­der on the Mac.

Free-form ac­cess to your files in this man­ner will make it eas­ier to work on a sin­gle pro­ject across mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions. For ex­am­ple, you could start work in one im­age-edit­ing app to gain ac­cess to its ex­ten­sive edit­ing tools, save the file to iCloud Drive, then use the iOS 9 iCloud Drive app to send it to another app that’s packed with fil­ter ef­fects to ap­ply a spe­cific one be­fore pub­lish­ing the pic­ture online.

iCloud Drive on the web The web view of Drive is sim­i­lar to that on iOS and OS X. You can cre­ate new fold­ers and upload or down­load files on what­ever com­puter you’re us­ing, and you can move items around in Drive by drag­ging and drop­ping them onto fold­ers. To move them higher up in Drive, drag them onto a folder name in the hi­er­ar­chy that’s shown across the bot­tom of the win­dow. To change a file or folder name, click its icon and then the ‘i’ that ap­pears at its top-right, and then type a new name. Delete things by se­lect­ing them (se­lect sev­eral items by hold­ing ç, like in Fin­der) and click­ing the trash can icon at the top of the page. You can also email files by click­ing the en­ve­lope icon, but you can only send them from iCloud Mail, not a third-party ser­vice.

iCloud Drive-en­abled apps au­to­mat­i­cally cre­ate a folder to hold their files, but you’re not con­strained to us­ing them in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.

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