Apple’s cloud storage service has its fair share of issues. Luckily, iCloud is about to get some major improvements within the next month.
Thanks to iOS 8, Apple’s forthcoming software update for mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, iCloud will finally receive some important updates that have been sorely missing from the service since it was introduced in October 2011.
iCloud is one of Apple’s most important services, as it’s designed to help all of the company’s devices communicate and work together. So we’ve outlined all of the various problems and highlighted the ways in which the forthcoming iCloud update in iOS 8 will resolve those issues.
iOS 8 may not suddenly turn iCloud into the best cloud service, but it ought to ameliorate some of the bigger issues consumers have faced over the years.
Solution: Photos and documents will soon show you when they last synced with iCloud, and Handoff in iOS 8 will let you pick up from where you left off on other devices -- even if you're not in Wi-Fi range, since other devices will be able to leverage the iPhone's Instant Hotspot. Handoff works with Apple's first-party apps, but developers will be able to build it into their apps as well.
Problem: iCloud Photo Stream only holds onto your photos for 30 days -- so you'll often keep photos on your local device, and you'll often run out of space.
Solution: With iCloud Photo Library coming in iOS 8, the 30-day rule will be gone: You'll soon be able to keep all of your photos in iCloud, and download them any time to any of your devices, or even access them on the web. The first 5GB of space will be free, and other storage plans will start at $US0.99 a month.
Solution: A new option in iCloud Photo Settings allows you to store your full-resolution photos in iCloud while keeping device-optimised versions on your iPhone, which ought to save some storage, since photos can take up a ton of space. How much storage you'll save with this new system, however, has yet to be determined.
Solution: iCloud Drive will allow you to store any kind of document and open it from any device. All you'll have to do is drag those files into the iCloud Drive on your Mac, or create a new document on an iCloud-enabled app on an iOS device.
Problem: iCloud only distinguishes between devices -- not different family members who might use those devices -- which leads to a very messy experience, particularly for parents.
Solution: Apple is introducing Family Sharing as part of iOS 8, which will let up to six family members share their purchases from Apple's various digital stores while still keeping those general accounts separate from each other. So you can even use the same credit card to buy books, movies, TV shows, and apps for parents and kids, and everyone can enjoy them without needing to share each other's Apple IDs.
Apple will also create dedicated family calendars and photo albums for those users so all accounts on all devices can easily share their photos and events in an organised place.