iCloud Drive is another novelty integrated in iOS 8, which allows you to store and share files and documents “on the cloud” between iPhone, iPad, Windows PC and Mac. In this article we will explain how to configure, which iCloud Drive Pricing is best suited to your needs and what this new service by Apple is for.
What is iCloud Drive
iCloud Drive is a new cloud storage service that Apple offers users to unify even more the use of iPhones, iPads and Macs / PCs, making them more interconnected. This is the evolution of six iCloud services, of which we have spoken extensively here .
This service aims to provide a constant and reliable interaction between devices, providing access also to developers of other applications who can thus take advantage of this feature. It is in effect a cloud storage service that allows you to store files on our computer as in any folder, dragging documents and reorganizing them thanks to the OS X tags, and then being able to access them directly from iOS and Windows. All files placed in that folder on Mac (Yosemite required) or Windows, will also be accessible from iPhone and iPad.
To better understand iCloud Drive we could compare it to Dropbox, which over the years has carved an important role in the cloud sector. Another of iCloud Drive’s benefits is the ability for apps to collaborate. Different iOS apps will be able to edit the same file without complications.
When you use iCloud Drive, you always have access to the latest version of all your files from any device. For example, you can work on a presentation on your home Mac, then give it the finishing touches and show it to the class with the iPad. And when you make a change you automatically find it on all your devices.
Moreover, with iOS 8 the apps can share files: it means you can open and edit the same document with multiple apps. Make a sketch with a drawing app and open it in another to color it, or use an app to prepare a graphic and present it with a different app. Without creating unnecessary copies and without importing and exporting documents from one side to the other. Among your apps, such a strong understanding had never been seen.
How to use iCloud Drive
To upload a file to the cloud, simply drag it to the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac with OS X Yosemite or on a PC with Windows 7 or later, or create a new document on your iOS device using one of the iCloud compatible apps. From that moment you can access that file from any device.
When you upgrade to iOS 8, you will be asked whether or not to activate iCloud Drive. Warning: we recommend activating the service only if you have Windows 7 on PC ( here the link to download the client ) or Yosemite on Mac (Mac users will have to wait for the new operating system to exit).
Once ready, you can also activate iCloud Drive manually:
1. Go to Settings
2. Click on iCloud
3. Activate the iCloud Drive item
At this point the list of all the apps that already take advantage of this service will open, and you can choose which one to disable if you don’t want to share those data and documents on iCloud between your devices.
The great thing about iCloud Drive is that it works alone! There is nothing to do or configure. Once the service is enabled, all apps that support iCloud will offer you options to open and save documents on Drive. For example, opening the Scanner Pro app and creating a new document, you will be asked if you want to save it also on iCloud Drive. If so, that document will also be available on iPad (and vice versa). If the app is also available on the Mac App Store, the same thing will also be present on Mac.
Another example? If on PC or Mac you add a file in the iCloud Drive folder, this file will be visible in all the apps that can open that type of file. Automatically and without any effort.
WARNING: you will never find an “iCloud Drive” app on your iPhone. This service is absolutely automatic and “invisible”. To be able to access the files and documents inserted in iCloud Drive, all you have to do is open the app compatible with that file, and you will find everything you need.
Now it remains to understand only which plan to choose. Is that 5GB free or is it good enough?
iCloud Drive Pricing, from 5GB to 1TB: which one to choose?
Apple offers several iCloud Drive storage options, with prices that are significantly lower than in the past. Here are the new plans:
- 5GB – Free;
- 20GB – € 0.99 per month;
- 200GB – € 3.99 per month;
- 500GB – € 9.99 per month;
- 1TB – € 19.99 per month.
The free 5GB plan will be enabled by default. To change it from iPhone or iPad:
1. Go to Settings
2. Click on iCloud
3. Click on Archive
4. Click on “Change Archiving Plan”
5. Select the desired plan
But which plan to choose?
Before making a decision, it is always important to consider a few things. These are the questions you need to consider before deciding which iCloud Drive plan to choose:
- Does the backup of my device already run out of iCloud storage space?
- Do I use other cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive?
- Am I going to combine a third service with iCloud Drive, or do I want to use iCloud Drive only?
- How many different file types do I need to work without problems?
- Do I need cross-platform support for accessing my files on the go?
Once you have answered these questions, here are our tips:
5GB – Free
If you have only one iOS device and you rarely find yourself out of the office or home to work, and if you don’t need to have multimedia files handy wherever you are, then this option may suffice.
You can still access lightweight files and documents without any problems, directly on iCloud Drive. Hardly, however, you can activate your device’s iCloud backup.
20GB – € 0.99 per month
Many people like to save backup on iCloud. In this way, wherever there is a problem that requires a device reset, in a few minutes you can recover the entire backup from the cloud. For most users, 20GB is enough to back up most data on iPhone and / or iPad. However, if you have a 64GB (or higher) device, you may have space problems.
The 20GB plan is perfect for those who want to perform a single backup on iCloud and store photos and videos uploaded from iPhone and iPad (unless these photos are thousands …). The option is perfect even if you have a free account on Dropbox or Google Drive and you don’t want to give it up.
200GB / 500GB – € 3.99 / € 9.99 per month
The two plans have the same purpose, as they allow you to store practically all the photos and videos you have stored on your computer and make full backups of 64 or 128 GB devices. If you have already planned to take thousands of photos from your iPhone, and want to keep them all on the cloud, then consider one of these two options.
1TB – € 19.99 per month
If you are opting for this plan, you probably don’t need our advice. Simply, you know that you have to keep large files, thousands of photos and videos, and all the documents you have stored on Mac and PC. In this motion, your world will always be accessible, wherever you are.
Sahil Shah is B.E passed out. He loves to write and do experiments with online tools, software, and games. He is an expert tech writer for 10+ years. He is a part-time scientist as well. Eating, and being online at night is what he usually does.