How does iCloud Drive work?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by akishore, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. akishore macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    I'm using iOS 8 beta 2 on my iPhone and Yosemite beta 2 on my Mac and I'm curious as to how iCloud Drive works in terms of how to access content.

    I noticed when I go to finder, there is a new folder in my Favorites called iCloud and when I click on that, it had a folder called Preview in there. I'm guessing that was for the Preview app.

    So if I add something to the Preview folder on iCloud from my Mac, where else can I see it? I also opened Keynote and then noticed a new Keynote folder popped up into the iCloud folder and that showed me my presentations that were stored in iCloud.

    I can also drag any file and just drop it into the top-level iCloud folder, but again, where I can access those files? Will they be releasing some iCloud Drive app for iDevices so that you can view the files like Dropbox or will it only work for specific apps and you can only store those files in those specific app folders?

    Also, why doesn't iCloud Photo Library show up in this iCloud folder? I know there is a Photos app coming next year, but it would be nice if I could just drag and drop files into my Photo Library from my Mac.

    Attached Files:

  2. AndyK macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2008
    It's just Apple's version of Dropbox / Google drive but it's integrated into the system vs having an app that manages it.
  3. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    Sorry to hijack your thread, but since this is about the inner workings of iCloud Drive, I also have a question.

    Since it's supposed to be like Dropbox, does it also store files locally in the folder? That's my main gripe with Dropbox, it stores everything you have in the cloud also on your hard drive, which kind of defeats the point. I prefer to grab my files from an online file manager over the convenience of having quick access to them.

    If I subscribe to the 200GB iCD plan, I don't want 200GB of my hard drive taken up by files that are also on Apple's servers.
  4. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    It might be too early to tell since this feature is still very much in beta and likely to change. You do have a good point though. Unfortunately Apple is not known for offering much configurations of their services.
  5. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    These are exactly the questions I've been asking since the keynote. I've been using Dropbox for a while to store files that I don't need regular or immediate access to/want stored locally but I need to keep. I can do this by just using Dropbox's web interface and not having the folder installed on my MacBook. But iCloud Drive seems to be the opposite of this in that all of your files appear to be stored locally as well. Which is also contradictory when they're making 200GB of iCloud storage 'cheap' yet surely if you had 200GB of photos stored in iCloud, it would attempt to take up 200GB of your local storage too.
  6. rssfed23 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Southampton, UK
    Given the majority of users in the western world are still under sub-10mbit broadband packages, I think we'll be a few years away from this type of functionality! - Remember DB/GDrive etc are advertised as "sync" cloud services to sync between devices as well as store them in the cloud!

    It would be great if all the items in the folders are links to items stored in the cloud and would download/stream on the fly as and when required by the OS (and most importantly: not launching a browser to do so!), but I don't think the infrastructure is there for the majority of users! - Even opening a MP3 file would take a few seconds to do, and users would see that pause as an unacceptable UI "freeze" even though it's just downloading/caching the item!

    I agree though; for users with enough bandwidth there should be an option to allow this behaviour on these services. I guess for now we just have to use the already known web-only workaround!
  7. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    You seem to misunderstand the purpose of services like Dropbox. The idea is that copies of your data are stored in the cloud, so you can access them from any device. It doesn't delete the copies on the machine you uploaded the files from. If you want to free up the space on your machine, then you can delete them. One big difference between Dropbox and iCloud is that the latter will allow you to access/edit files in the cloud without downloading to your machine, which is a feature Dropbox lacks.
  8. shandyman Suspended

    Apr 24, 2010
    Dublin, Ireland

    iCloud Drive appears in finder automatically, but I believe it's not up and running as of yet, so that's why it's not showing.
  9. SanjeevRana macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2011
    I am hoping that they are changing iCloud permissions on similar lines to other services as well..

    That means, if an App is authorized to iCloud, it has access to ALL of iCloud (what we see in Finder) and not just within its folder. This will alleviate most of the "Open In ..." pain from iOS.

    If not, all that we can do now is actually view and maybe copy into iCloud folders but apps still function the same way ... which doesnt make sense to me
  10. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I'm hoping iCloud Drive will just store what it can, but will back off if you need more space, kind of like how caching things in RAM works (the RAM is in use, but available for use by other apps if they need it).

    Does anyone have Yosemite on a relatively small partition that they could easily fill up to see if the iCloud drive folder continues to take up space? Anyone tried comparing the Finder get info values for size to output from the Terminal du command?
  11. kurolap macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2014
    I just tried sending a 200mb attachment and it didn't give me the option of iclouding it...just says message exceeds bla bla
  12. AndyK macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2008
    But that is the point, since Dropbox / Google Drive while indirectly providing that function are not backup solutions as their primary purpose.

    They're designed so you can easily access files on all devices, fully synced and up to date. A good example of this someone that works on a desktop in the office, then takes their laptop out and about on a regular basis, with out the need to mess around with usb sticks or anything else horrible like that.
  13. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I only use it between my Mac Mini and my Mac Book. It was not showing files saved on either machine until recently. Not sure if it was something I did by cleaning up the / Library / Mobile Documents folder or some back-in change by Apple but it working fine now.
  14. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Just worth noting, but this page mentions keeping a large photo library on iCloud, while only holding your most recent on your iOS device (and at a reduced size at that to conserve space).

    Of course it's not clear if Photos uses iCloud Drive directly, or some other mechanism; I expect the ability to reduce images for different devices is Photos specific, but hopefully iCloud Drive will become the basic interface for apps that want to store files, in which case it might be designed to function more like a cache/working directory, perhaps with some kind of index so the Finder can show all files even if they're not all copied locally?
  15. akishore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    I've been using Dropbox and you can go into the Options/Preferences and choose which folders you want to sync down to your computer. I have the 500GB plan and 250GB is used up by my Camera Uploads folders, which I don't want synced down onto each computer, so I just uncheck that folder and I'm good to go with my other folders.

    I think iCloud Drive will keep a local copy also for all files except photos and videos. It seems those may be stored in a lower resolution format on the local machine, but all other files will exist in both places unless they come up with options like Dropbox for selective syncing.

  16. tey112 macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2011

    As akishore already mentioned, this is possible with Dropbox. It is also possible with Google Drive. You can select which folders you want to sync to your local hard drive, the rest stay in the cloud.
  17. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    WARNING : Don't put anything into it before DP3, because Apple is just about to wipe it on Monday.
  18. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    For those that need serious backup, and want the option of not keeping certain files on their computer, I think Backblaze would be a good solution. It's completely unlimited and only $5 per month.

    And, no, I am not affiliated in any way.
  19. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I think that anything in your iCloud Drive folder should remain on your machine, the only files at risk are ones that are only on the iCloud servers; so long as you have copies of all your iCloud files on one or more devices then they should be safe, and will simply begin syncing again once you re-enable iCloud Drive.
  20. exi macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Can anyone speak to how iCloud Drive handles symbolic links? This is how I've been syncing files and folders through Dropbox which do not reside in the actual Dropbox folder. Does this also work with iCloud Drive?
  21. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    thats actually a very good point i havent thought of before. i was thinking of getting the 200GB option later this year but my mac only has a 128GB ssd to begin with lol

    thats actually what annoyed me about iPhoto + Flickr too. every pic got stored locally as well and if i deleted it locally it got deleted from the cloud automatically too. what i wish for is a cloud service that stores everything in the cloud only with references to the files on your mac / idevice but the actual file being only accessable via internet connection
  22. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    so far its not working. I hope that changes very soon.
  23. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    I have several apps including Goodreader storing some files in iCloud (just as a test) but those apps don't appear in iCloud Drive in Yosemite.

    Am I doing something wrong? In the video introducing iCloud drive it showed a "Goodreader" folder, after all...
  24. campyguy, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014

    campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    IMO you're not doing anything wrong. Apps need to be updated to account for iCloud Drive - the GM of Xcode was issued just last Tuesday, devs have been informed that its that build of Xcode to be used to build and submit apps for iOS 8. Those new builds will likely take a few days to evaluate and get in the App Store - I'm surmising that we won't see those newer versions until around the official release of iOS 8. And, those demoed apps were special builds for the iOS 8 (and Yosemite) presentation - AFAIK the only apps that can use iCloud Drive that have made available to devs, and not the general population, are the beta versions of the iWork apps in the Dev Portal (Pages/Numbers/Keynote). I know of a few others, like 1Password, we can get but they'll come from the devs directly and need to be sideloaded into iTunes.

    I'm also a Goodreader user, so I'm waiting for this update too!
  25. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Do you really want to place COMPLETE TRUST in Apple iCloud to keep your files safe? I personally think this is a very foolish decision.

    You should always have a local copy of everything that's in the cloud. Companies have been known to lose things stored in "the cloud". You never want your ONLY copy of something to be in the cloud, out of your control.

    Minimally, two copies: One in the cloud, one locally. For truly precious files, you back up your local data to Time Machine too.

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