I've ditched Dropbox, and use iCloud on Desktop and iOS

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by rctlr, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    I have found a way to handle files using iCloud.

    Using ifiles http://ifilesapp.com and setting up iCloud in it, I am able to move files easily just like Dropbox.

    Install ifiles, and add iCloud as a service
    add a file to that service (a screen shot will do)

    On your mac, open Terminal
    go to
    ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/

    You will find folders which sync.

    Here you will find a folder like :

    (it might not have the same string)

    That is the folder iFiles on your iOS device syncs.

    So, it make a symbolic link to it, again in your terminal

    ln -s /Users/USERNAME/Library/Mobile\ Documents/83CX4CU3RC~com~imagam~ifiles/Documents/ ~/Desktop/ifiles

    This creates a Folder on your Desktop

    Any files you put in it get synced to iCloud.
    From iFiles on your iOS device, you can then do what you wish, and of course vice versa
  2. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Dec 26, 2009
    Why did you ditch what truly "just works" in favor of this POS aka iCloud???
  3. shotts56 macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2008
    Or you could just use Dropbox.
  4. rctlr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    I find the Dropbox iOS app rubbish, and iFiles a great file management tool.
    Any of the terminal stuff I mentioned above can be ignored, as it's easy to use within Finder, making it "just work". I have bash scripts to backup non-apple files, and to unzip and push into iTunes any music content that I download on my iOS devices.

    As iFiles works with iCloud(as well as Dropbox), I thought I'd use it, and share. That the idea of this forum, right?
    Not for everyone obviously.
  5. Toltepeceno Suspended


    Jul 17, 2012
    SMT, Edo MX, MX
    I like the dropbox ios app and with carousel it's far better than trying to put lipstick on the pig that is icloud drive at this moment. Hopefully it will get better, I really want to like it. Right now though dropbox and onedrive are both ahead.

    We are just posting our opinions as you did yours, thanks for posting this option. Ifiles IS a good app, and I have it, I just prefer the original apps for dropbox and onedrive.:)
  6. MacGurl111 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2010
    I love dropbox too! One of the easiest app/site to use. What you explained, made it sound 10 times more complicated! No, thank you!:p
  7. macUser2007 macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Apple should design a monument to the OP in the new headquarters, for being the one person who actually likes iCloud :)

    The OP needs only a 3rd party app, plus a few bash scripts to make it all "just work," but hey....

    I cancelled my iCloud subscription, since I found iCloud to be just about the most poorly thought out cloud storage out there.

    DropBox actually "just works" and I have been using it for years.

    And I just signed up, for $99 for 12 months, for OneDrive. Not only does it "just work", but it comes with free MS Office apps, and with effectively 5TB worth of storage!

    But no bash scripts....
  8. Crotonmark macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    I am writing to support the OP
    I run Quicken for Windows on boot camp
    Today I saved my bank rec reports as PDFs
    Uploaded to iCloud.com after creating a folder there called Bank Statements
    Logged back into OS X
    Went to finder - retrieved my PDFs - moved to a folder on my Mac
    Worked perfectly - didn't need to print anything
    Didn't need to do anything
    Just worked as advertised

    A simple solution to a problem

    YES I have Dropbox but I want to stay in the Apple Universe

    Flame away all you iCloud Drive haters - this is just what worked for me
  9. macUser2007 macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    Or, you could have simply:

    Saved your bank reports to your DropBox or Google Drive folder.
    Then used them directly from the synced Dropbox or Google Drive folder.

    An even simpler solution....

    iCloud is just not in the running with the rest of the cloud storage providers, to put it simply.

    Now, I did try One Drive and it is the cheapest, by far, solution for cloud storage, of any of the major ones. But it does have one fatal flow, as I just found out: it will NOT sync any files or folders containing characters like :,!,@,#,$,%,^,&,* Absolutely unacceptable in 2014 :(

    One Drive is still way better than iCloud, but with these pathetic characters sync limitations, I suggest sticking with Dropbox, Google Drive, or any of the other ones, like Box.
  10. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Onedrive also will not sync OSX metadata like tags, aliases or symlinks.
  11. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I find Google Drive is awful and hard to use it. DropBox is the best. Apple Drive needs some work. I am bit confused with iCloud Photo and iCloud Drive???? :apple:
  12. shotts56 macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2008
    You're not the only one. We're all geeks and we don't get it. What chance the rest of the world?
  13. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I don't really like iCloud Drive yet. No selective sync or flexibility. It worked when I was running Yosemite with the Finder (mostly), but on Mavericks I tried to upload some PDFs via Safari to iCloud.com and I got an Upload Failed notice every time. I'm not going to deal with, I'll stick to what works.
  14. Cloudane, Nov 27, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014

    Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    I was considering it, because I just don't really like having multiple locations for things, it gets confusing. Most of the continuity magic happens via iCloud Drive, so a lot of things are stored there... but files saved in a traditional manner are on Dropbox. It'd just be tidier to just have one place. It's bad enough that I have Google Drive as well. It's getting to the point where I have more clouds than the skies of Northern England and have to try and remember what I have where.

    Indeed it's a bit clunky at the moment though. I really wish Apple would sort themselves out with their cloud stuff, as it's an absolute train wreck, especially when you start to factor in iTunes and the kind of hybrid iTunes+iCloud thing going on with iOS. You can be cloud-only with iOS until you start trying to manage app documents or step outside Apple's ideal world of you buying everything through them (i.e. that book or comic bundle you grabbed from Humble and want available through iBooks, those MP3s you bought DRM-free from an independent artist's website etc) then you have to start cranking out iTunes and storing things on your computer - which may well have a relatively small SSD. Ugh! Also, discontinued apps - you have to back them up via iTunes, or potentially lose them forever. It's a mess.

    Having switched back from Android, whilst apps were not as polished, the cloud integration was WAY ahead. Switching back to iOS is like stepping back in time 5-10 years in some ways (like this). I was using Dropbox to sync photos automatically on 'droid, worked great. On iOS, you have to launch Dropbox to trigger a sync (good old restrictions) so you think "well I'll use iCloud Photo Library then! It's Apple's, so they allow it in the background" ... but is it any good? NO! Still no Photos app on the Mac, yet they refuse to update Aperture for it, no integration with the OS, if you want to download let's say 500 photos then you do it through the browser and it starts 500 separate download processes. Downloads from iCloud Photo Library are also capped at 200KB/s, so it takes forever and there's no way to get that 1GB 10 minute movie you took at 1080p - the download just gets so far then times out (I've tried several times). You have to dig out the sync cable and take it from your phone directly. Sync cable? Really? What is this, 2002? Only time I ever used a cable on 'droid was to upload a custom ROM.

    I love my iOS devices overall, the apps are polished and some of the things it does "force" me to be tidy and not to fiddle with things. But it winds me up sometimes.

    One thing that really confused me recently was plugging my phone in and downloading photos that way, they were all a lower resolution. Some of my Dropbox copies were too, far as I recall. Turns out that (if it's enabled) after the upload to the cloud, it optimises the phone copy. If the Dropbox upload happens after that or if you attach the cable after that, you get the optimised version.

    Jobs is probably spinning in his grave at how messy and confusing this all is.
  15. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Good post! I agree with most of that and well put, but I am not seeing (I think) what I have left in the quote above. Maybe I haven't understood properly what you wrote.

    I turned on iCloud Beta Photo Library from launch day on my iPhone 6+, and have it on the optimised for local setting.

    I have Photostream turned as well and have been regularly importing all my iPh6+ photos from Photostream using Aperture. All my iPh6+ photos in Aperture are full size/full res.

    So I thought maybe Photostream always gets the full size version, which is why mine in Aperture are all full size. In which case maybe all the photos still on my iPh6+ have been quietly optimised since I took them (which is what you say above, I think).

    So I connected my iPh6+ up with a cable and looked at them with Image Capture, and they are still full size.....(or is Image Capture being redirected to the iCloud version hence seeing full size?).

    I also looked at all the photos on my iPh with Phoneview and downloaded a few. They are full size too. I doubt that Phoneview is being redirected to the iCloud version.
  16. Cloudane macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweet Apple Acres
    I'm not seeing it either now - that's what I thought was happening, but basically, when I tried to transfer a photo to the desktop earlier in the week it was optimised resolution. I have no idea why and can't seem to replicate it!
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't think iCloud is fully featured as other cloud providers. I prefer OneDrive, I get much more space then iCloud and it works great on my windows machines.
  18. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Yes but see earlier posts about compatibility with OSX metadata. Onedrive does not sync tags or aliases for example.
  19. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    You lost me at 83CX4CU3RC~com~imagam~ifiles/Documents
    (it might not have the same string)
  20. rctlr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    Yeah, I think that string is unique.
    Just look for ??????????~com~imagam~ifiles/Documents

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