iCloud Drive , launched with the arrival of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, wants to compete with other cloud storage solutions and further open up the possibilities of file management in iCloud at the same time. The idea is good, but does it work well?
The short answer is yes but no . iCloud Drive is a good tool that as a user of Apple products and services I appreciate very much, but almost everyone is used to Dropbox and its features make a dent in what for me are four points that can be improved for iCloud Drive .
On my trip to Madrid to attend the Xataka awards, I took the opportunity to do a test by uploading 50 MB of photos to my iCloud Drive directory from the offices of Weblogs SL (where there is a more than fast enough connection to the network).
The result: a slow file upload that I wouldn’t have liked too much in more urgent situations. Dropbox, using its caches, has uploaded those same images in less than half the time.
Live synchronization status
One of the things I like best about Dropbox is how I can see at all times whether files are syncing or not . And if they are, see how fast they are uploading or downloading and how much time I have left to complete a sync.
During the upload test of those 50 MB of photos I didn’t see any signal that there were files synchronizing, I had to go to the directory I was copying on purpose to see the classic progress bars of the file copy in the Finder.
I also couldn’t know at any time how much was left for the photos to finish uploading, as I could only see the copy progress of the files separately and there was no sign in the files waiting to be copied to the cloud. The result: you never know when it’s going to end .
Accessing folders from iOS
Apple wants its users to be confused, but the habit to Dropbox gets just the opposite
OS X Yosemite’s Finder allows us to access the iCloud Drive directory without problems. The iCloud website lets us do the same. On iOS, however, we can’t. To access the files, we have to open them through the applications and their dedicated folders.
Apple’s reason for doing this is that doesn’t want to complicate users with folder navigation in iOS, something that has always been avoided since its first release. But once again: users are already too used to Dropbox or Google Drive. Apple’s intentions are good, but they are no longer worth it.
Accessing applications beyond their folders
I end with another more specific consequence that arises from the previous point: if you want to work on a Pages document from iCloud Drive, you must store it in the dedicated folder in Pages. If you save it to another iCloud Drive folder, Pages will not be able to find it.
La evolución de iCloud, frenada por “problemas de organización” en Apple
Once again: Apple wants to make life easier for users but they end up being counterproductive . The user sees iCloud Drive as “the Apple Dropbox”, and is confused and irritated when he sees that it is not. He sees those limits as meaningless, and ends up using the competition.
So I think if Apple wants iCloud to be used as a good storage solution, it should address these points. Because no, I have no doubt that Cupertino wants to avoid imitating Dropbox. But if doing so involves creating something more difficult for the user, then we get out of the fire to fall into the coals.