June 2, 2014

Apple Reveals iCloud Drive: Store, Sync, Access Up to 200 GB Worth of Data (For $4/Mo)

There were a lot of exciting announcements coming out of Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) today, like the new features in OS X 10:10 Yosemite and iOS 8, but the unveiling of the new iCloud Drive is definitely something filmmakers will want to take a look at. Being described as a "Dropbox-esque" file system, iCloud Drive, of course, stores your stuff on the Cloud for free, but not only has Apple included pay options for upping the amount of data you can store, but they've made that data much more accessible to you when away from the Cloud.

Here's a quick video from today's announcement, courtesy of The Verge:

iCloud Drive is designed for integration -- to make using your computer in tandem with your phone and other devices a better, more useful experience. Part of this means that all of your devices (using OS, iOS, and Windows) can be synced, so getting your hands on files on the Cloud is easier -- files stored in iCloud, even your iOS app files, can now be accessed via Finder on your computer.

You can even add your own tags and folders to iCloud by simply dragging and dropping them in. And cross-app editing is made more seamless, too, because you'll be able to share files and access projects between different apps (as long as they're iCloud-enabled). This is helpful for those collaborating on a project to be able to share and edit without having to make tons of copies of a document of file. Plus, everything will be in one place.

The Verge weighed in on the new accessibility features iCloud will be rolling out with:

Accessing these files on other devices isn't as simple as it is on Mac, however. iCloud Drive adds a Finder-esque file browser to iOS for the first time, which is valuable, but Apple doesn't offer an iCloud Drive app for iOS. In order to find files you've stored in iCloud Drive, you'll need to open an app that uses iCloud Drive storage. But, at least now there's one place to store documents, photos, and files that's agnostic of which apps you're using.

Until now, Apple has only offered 5 GB worth of storage for free on iCloud, but now they'll give users the opportunity to purchase more real estate: 20 GB of storage for $0.99 per month, 200 GB for $3.99 per month, however for storage of up to 1 TB (or more?) we're still waiting to hear about a price.

It's difficult to be convinced that Apple will be attracting many Dropbox users, especially since we know that at one point in this Cloud storage game, Apple said, nay -- vowed, to destroy Dropbox back in 2011, but failed. It'll be interesting to see how users respond to the new features -- if they're really as intuitive as they seem to be (the features, not the users).

In your opinion, do the new features of iCloud make it a real contender with Dropbox or Google Drive? Let us now in the comments below.

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19 Comments

It doesn't seem like it's completely nailed down yet, but:

1. Opportunities for collaboration purely with iCloud seem limited.
2. Still, you can email huge files to anyone and they'll receive them on any platform — the files are uploaded to iCloud and are replaced with download links on non-Apple platforms or the actual file on a Mac — which is a big win for casual sharing.
3. From some of the slides in the keynote, Box and other cloud storage companies can provide iCloud storage. You can very likely collaborate that way.

June 2, 2014 at 10:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Google Drive works great for my operations. Especially with the desktop integration and shared folders. Need to share a AE file with a partner ? Boom. Done. Need to send quick drafts to a client that plays right in the browser. Boom. Done.

I am not sure what it will be like with this iCloud stuff... but I assume similar.

I mean, some will argue the Apple one is better, but I have no reason to switch because Google got to me first.

June 2, 2014 at 10:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom

In the last 6 months, our small agency has replaced cloud services with BitTorrent Sync. This option isn't for everyone, and there are still a few things it can't do - but when it comes to sharing and syncing large files across multiple machines (with support for mobile also) there's nothing like it. I edit and work from a home office here in San Diego, but our offices are in Portland, Oregon. It has saved us a lot of money on the overnight shipping with hard drives. We've synced project folders up to 500GB so far. Once you get past that it's more practical to send physical media.

Still have to use other services (dropbox and hightail) to send files to clients and others outside of our system, but it's pretty awesome for a free service.

Apple will have to innovate in unforeseen ways if they wish to dethrone Dropbox.

June 2, 2014 at 10:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ty

Agreed. The Sync is free, and works really well. http://www.bittorrent.com/sync

June 3, 2014 at 6:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

Dropbox is cool except you have to have a version of it mirrored on your own computer. I want it all in the cloud. Small hard drive, large cloud drive and lots of ram.

September 11, 2014 at 11:05PM

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We're currently paying 10 a month for dropbox for only 100 GB. double the space at less than half the price sounds pretty good. Although, I do love the dropbox design and functionality. I've tried google drive and hated it. I hope apple does have a nice layout comparable to dropbox since we are all on OiS devices for everything video production.

June 2, 2014 at 11:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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We use Google Drive as well as Dropbox, but we're looking to consolidate all our stuff to one area, and since I have an iPhone, iPad and iMac, I might as well sync them with the iCloud. However, if this announcement forces Dropbox to add more space and to lower their fees, I'd love to stick with them.

June 3, 2014 at 2:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dropbox now has to up the ante, or they will stand to lose out...

However, if Apple wants to acquire market share fast, they could always purchase Dropbox; petty cash to them as they currently sit on $150bn.

June 3, 2014 at 2:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Steve Jobs tried to acquire Dropbox years back, but was turned down. I’d find it hard to believe that Apple would purchase the company given the tensions.

June 5, 2014 at 9:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Charlie

I have 1 TB on Google Drive $4.95. Unlimited file sizes upload.

June 3, 2014 at 12:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeremie Barineau

How'd you get that price?

June 3, 2014 at 3:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Aaron

Grandfathered in.

June 3, 2014 at 4:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom

is this true? am in

June 9, 2014 at 2:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Copy is also pretty decent (Dropbox rip off) but with more space if you were to happen to sign up via refferal link .... https://copy.com?r=PouwaK

Then you could get an extra 5gb for free 15gb total for starting out...

How do you type something like this without feeling like con artist?

June 3, 2014 at 6:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris Lambert

Unnecessary when you have BitTorrent Sync. The Sync storage is unlimited and free. http://www.bittorrent.com/sync

June 3, 2014 at 6:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

I don't understand how long they expect 200GB to last for anyone? The average family taking snapshots has at least half that much don't they? My iPhoto library is at least 100GB now and my daughter isn't even two years old, and I delete probably 70-80% of that I shoot...that's just the really great edited stuff worth organizing and saving.

June 3, 2014 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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trackofalljades

FWIW, it's not a backup (we use CrashPlan for that) but for the "web sharing" sized versions of all our family photos we just use Picasa. If you size things down to 2048px on the longest side, Google will give you unlimited storage for free. I think we have north of 20,000 images on there now (which even our older relatives can access easily) and we don't have to pay a dime for it.

June 3, 2014 at 4:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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trackofalljades

We had already dropped DropBox after Condoleeza Rice joined the board, and have been using BittorrentSync since. Will be interesting to see how this all works.

June 3, 2014 at 9:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ted

you mean, Susan Rice

June 4, 2014 at 7:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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O.W.

I've heard that Filecamp.com has some pretty wild plans integrating Bittorrent Sync with their cloud file sharing app.
Then we just might get the best from both Worlds:
- Bittorrent for syncing files, and collaboration between colleagues and partners.
- The cloud for easy sharing with clients (branded with company logo etc.).

June 19, 2014 at 2:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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