Apple was certainly able to snatch some of the biggest headlines form its competitors after its presentation at their Worldwide Developer’s Conference, dubbed WWDC. In the keynote presentation dominated by Craig Federighi (Senior Vice President and head of Software Engineering) and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple demonstrated and unveiled some of the key new features included in both the latest versions of OS X and iOS (named Yosemite and iOS 8, respectively).Although there were some notable new additions such as Handoff, Continuity, and Swift, in this article, I will briefly discuss one of my favorite new additions to the operating systems of both iOS and OS X, iCloud Drive.
iCloud was introduced 3 years ago, and it already feels as though we have spent an eternity with it. The usage of the cloud provided by the Cupertino based technology company has been remarkable. The implementation of game improvements, iTunes Match, and iTunes purchase history was the first big step. The next big step was the awesome new iCloud documents, which has proven to be a solid competitor of the acclaimed Google Docs, and iCloud Docs is still in the beta stage.
The next big step is the new and intriguing iCloud Drive. Here is the write up Apple offers on its site:
Now you have the freedom to work with the document of your choice on the device of your choice. Because with iCloud Drive, you can safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document in iCloud and access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.
The implementation is key, as Apple was the first major company to run itself on its own products. Since this was even one of their marketing strategies in showing off how reliable and widely applicable their products are (I even had some “genius”talk to me about it for 10 minutes while in a store), it was, and still is, important that they maintain this cool fun fact. So of course, as users begin to download new third-party applications, Apple makes on of its own and already has the market power and the method into mainstreaming it after putting it into their own operating system. Dropbox and Google Drive likely got too popular for Apple’s tastes, so why not steal some of the clients by offering better pricing and including it with the built in OS? Genius (No pun intended).
Some of the features Apple implemented in previous versions of their operating systems may have given the unveiling of iCloud Drive away. For example, for the release of iCloud docs, one of the biggest points made was that changes to a document while on the online iCloud Docs site would also make changes to the document stored on your Macintosh computer or iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Essentially, they were testing out the technology included in the upcoming iCloud Drive without us even knowing that they were doing so, and I doubt anyone saw this one coming.
So what does this mean for other cloud service providers? Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other clients all offer some great features, so how exactly does the iCloud Drive stack up against the current competition? Well, as we all know, going last certainly pays its weight in gold. As Apple was already able to see what does and does not work, they were also able to offer competitive pricing. In terms of free storage, Apple played it safe, and offered a simple 5 gigabytes of starting data. This data will be used for whatever you decide to put in your drive. The free 5GB is only outdone by Microsoft OneDrive, who offers a free 15GB, and Box, who you have never heard of, offers a free 10GB. Google Drive also offers a free 15GB, but that data is shared by your Gmail account, Google+, and your Drive.
What makes the pricing on iCloud Drive so enticing is they offer a 99 cent option. This will definitely stand out too those not looking to pay a whole bunch, but the 99 cents only gives 20GB. The rest of the pricing is virtually the same for iCloud Drive and its competitors. The only company that outdoes iCloud Drive in pricing is Google Drive, who offers 100 gigabytes for just $1.99.
In Apple’s case, the fact that virtually everyone owns an Apple product will pay dividends upon the debut of their cloud service. Anxious to see how it shakes up the competition, critics and bloggers are already calling this new implementation of the iCloud Drive war. In my opinion, Google Drive offers the best features for those looking to get a cloud. However, market power tends to reign supreme, which is great news for Apple.