It took eight years, but Apple finally did complete the transition replace the iCloud Documents and Data service with iCloud Drive. What’s going on, why did Apple do this, what might this mean for your business, and what should you do now?
What should you do now
Most iCloud users will find that Apple has already transferred its content to iCloud Drive. It is easy to use and provides a much more elegant user experience.
There are some users, mainly those who had iCloud accounts before the introduction of iCloud Drive in 2014, who may not yet have activated the newer online storage service. This can be a particular problem for users who want to support pre-iOS 8 and Mac devices running older operating systems, as they do not support iCloud Drive.
That shouldn’t be a large number of users, so eight years after the launch of the first and nine since the delivery of the latest incompatible Mac OS, Apple clearly thinks it’s a good time to disable such access – as it warned last year.
If you’re using iCloud Documents and Data on a system that supports the newer online storage system, you’ll need to enable iCloud Drive to see your iCloud files.
See below for relevant instructions.
What exactly is happening with iCloud Documents & Data?
Apple’s iCloud Documents and Data aims to sync data from a variety of applications to make it available on all your devices. Apple suspended Documents and Data this month, transferring all data stored in them to iCloud Drive. The company announced its plan to do so in May 2021.
Why did Apple change this iCloud?
The big advantage of this move is that users get a far more unified iCloud Drive experience on all devices, using iOS / iPadOS Files and integrating the Mac iCloud Drive Finder.
The previous realization was not always obvious. The location and management of the files in Files is much better because it is both obvious and understandable.
In connection with other recent changes in iCloud, reflected by the new iterations of OneDrive, Dropbox and Box, all of which requires different APIsthese moves may hint at fundamental changes as the company seeks to develop its services.
What Apple said
In a statement last year, Apple explained its plans:
“In May 2022, the iCloud Documents and Data service, our previous document synchronization service, will be discontinued and completely replaced by iCloud Drive. Therefore, if you use iCloud Documents and Data, your account will be migrated to iCloud Drive after that date.
“If you use the iCloud Documents and Data service, you must activate the iCloud Drive by following the steps below to view your files. Upgrading to iCloud Drive does not change the storage space used by your iCloud files. ”
Apple now tells consumers:
“If you used the iCloud Documents and Data service, you need to turn on iCloud Drive to see your files. When you switch to iCloud Drive, the amount of storage space that your saved files use in iCloud doesn’t change. “
Why this (may) matter to your business
With (minor) 5 GB of free storage provided to each user, additional storage in iCloud is available on a subscription basis, and in both Apple One and Apple Business Essentials. This means that it is very likely that you or your employees will already be using the service if you deploy or maintain Apple devices and hardware.
If you use Apple Business Manager and an MDM solution, you may have already done so some form of data sharing on site to distinguish personal from corporate data, as your employees have access to both business and personal iCloud storage accounts.
In the latter case, and certainly for anyone using a Mac, iPhone or iPad from around 2018 or later, most people will now use iCloud Drive instead of Apple’s legacy service. However, it is possible that some of your users have been left with the legacy service, which means that you now need to help ensure that the data is protected as the last transition takes place.
Of course, the move to harmonize Apple’s iCloud service makes sense, as the company is clearly planning major improvements as it layered additional services to support the iCloud + service.
Why you should always back up iCloud
As useful as iCloud Drive is, a key component of data management will be to ensure that important documents are not only stored in iCloud Drive, but also backed up locally, using your chosen enterprise backup service. .
It is also good practice to encourage staff to periodically check these archives to ensure that all relevant data is stored there. Apple has an excellent online article to help build an archiving system.
What is the difference between the two?
Apart from acting much more like Dropbox, Box or OneDrive with real file and folder systems, collaborating on documents and so on, the biggest difference between iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data was the limitation of the latter.
While “Documents” and “Data” kept data synchronized between systems, it only allowed access to data from the respective application. Data stored in iCloud Drive can be accessed by any compatible application. iCloud Drive also allows you to access your data from Apple mobile files, iCloud Drive in Mac Finder, via iCloud.com, or even from Windows or another device equipped with iCloud Drive support.
How to activate iCloud Drive
To activate iCloud Drive on iPhone or iPad with iOS 8 or later:
- Open up Settings> Username.
- Select iCloud and switch Activate Cloud Drive to turn on.
- You will now find your data in the Files app.
To enable iCloud Drive on a Mac running Catalina or later:
- Open up System Preferences> Apple ID.
- Select iCloud and switch Activate Cloud Drive to turn on.
- You will find your files in the iCloud section of your Finder.
Learn more about iCloud
We have many iCloud resources to help you make better use of the system.
Interested in learning more about iCloud? Please let us know and we will investigate the topic.
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