It took eight years, but Apple finally completed the transition to replace iCloud documents and data services with iCloud Drive. What’s happening, why Apple did it, what it means for your business, and what you should do now?
What should you do now?
Most iCloud users will notice that Apple has already moved their content to iCloud Drive. It is easy to use and provides a much more elegant user experience.
There are some users, who originally had an iCloud account before iCloud Drive launched in 2014, who have not yet enabled the new online storage service. This can be a particular problem for users who want to run pre-iOS 8 devices and Macs on older operating systems, as they do not support iCloud Drive.
That shouldn’t represent a large number of users, so eight years after the former release and nine years since the last non-compatible Mac OS was shipped, Apple clearly thinks it’s right to disable such access – as it warned last year.
If you use iCloud documents and data on a system that supports the new online storage system, you need to enable iCloud Drive to view your files in iCloud.
See below for relevant instructions.
What exactly is happening in iCloud documents and data?
Apple’s iCloud Documents and Data goal is to sync data from different apps so that it is available on all your devices. Apple shut down documents and data this month, transferring all data stored on it to iCloud Drive. The company announced plans to do so in May 2021.
Why has Apple changed this iCloud?
The big advantage of this step is that users get a much more integrated experience with iCloud Drive across all devices using Finder integration for files on iOS / iPadOS and iCloud Drive on Macs.
Previous implementations were not always immediately apparent. The file location and management experience is much better, as it is both clear and understandable.
Together with other recent changes to iCloud, reflected by the new iterations of OneDrive, Dropbox and Box, all of which require different APIs, these steps could signal a fundamental change as the company seeks to develop its services.
That’s what Apple said
In a statement last year, Apple explained its plans:
“In May 2022, iCloud Documents and Data Services, our former document synchronization service, will be discontinued and will be completely replaced by iCloud Drive. Therefore, if you use iCloud documents and data, your account will be transferred to iCloud Drive after that date.
“If you use iCloud Documents and Data Services, you must activate iCloud Drive by following the steps below to view your files. Upgrading to iCloud Drive does not change the storage space used by the files stored on your iCloud. “
Apple now tells users:
“If you use iCloud documents and data services, you need to turn on iCloud Drive to view your files. When you switch to iCloud Drive, the amount of storage space your saved files use in iCloud does not change. “
Why it (maybe) matters to your business
Available for every user (a little) 5GB of free storage, additional iCloud storage is available on a subscription basis and in both Apple One and Apple Business Essentials. This means that if you install or support Apple devices and hardware, most likely you or your employees are already using the service.
If you use Apple Business Manager and any type of MDM solution, you may already have some sort of data segmentation to separate personal to enterprise data, including access to both your employees’ business and personal iCloud storage accounts.
In the latter case, and of course for anyone using Mac, iPhone, or iPad around 2018 or later, most people will already be using iCloud Drive instead of Apple’s legacy service. However, it is possible that some of your users may be stuck with legacy services, which means you should now help ensure that your data is protected with the latest conversions.
Of course, Apple’s move to integrate the iCloud service is understandable because the company clearly plans to make big improvements as it lays out additional services to support the iCloud + service.
Why you should always backup iCloud
As useful as iCloud Drive is, an essential element of data management is to ensure that important documents are not only stored on iCloud Drive but also backed up locally using the Enterprise Backup service of your choice.
It is also a good practice to encourage staff to check backups from time to time to make sure all relevant data is stored there. Apple has an excellent online article to help you create an archiving system.
What is the difference between the two?
Apart from working with real file and folder systems like Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive, Document Collaboration, etc., the biggest difference between iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data was the limitations of the latter.
Although it syncs data to documents and data systems, it only allows access to data from the relevant application. Data on iCloud Drive can be accessed from any compatible app. ICloud Drive lets you access your data from files on Apple mobile devices, iCloud Drive on Mac Finder, via iCloud.com, and even other devices equipped with Windows or iCloud Drive support.
How to enable iCloud Drive
To enable iCloud Drive on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 or later:
- Open Settings> Username.
- Select iCloud and toggle Enable cloud drive On
- You will now find your data in the File app.
To enable iCloud Drive on Macs running Catalina or later:
- Open System Preferences> Apple ID.
- Select iCloud and toggle Enable cloud drive On
- You will find your files in the iCloud section of your Finder.
Learn more about iCloud
We have plenty of iCloud resources to help you get the most out of your system
Interested in learning more about iCloud? Please let us know and we will explore the matter.
Follow me TwitterOr join me in AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple discussion group on MeWe.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.