Late last week Apple made a change to their iCloud web services, opening up the iWork for iCloud beta to everyone. Previously the iWork suite of web apps (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) was limited to those users who owned an Apple device.
With last week's change anyone can go to beta.icloud.com, click the banner (shown above) to sign up for an Apple ID (which includes 1GB storage) and use the iWork for iCloud beta. Just make sure you do head to the beta iCloud website, as the main iCloud website doesn't let you sign up for an Apple ID yet. The iWork for iCloud web apps, which are still classified by Apple as betas, was first announced at WWDC 2013.
Casey Newton on Picturelife selling to StreamNation:
No wonder people keep building superior services: it’s impossible to store your photos with Apple, or Google, or Amazon, and not imagine you could do it better. And the need grows larger every day. Last year, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins estimated that we upload 1.8 billion photos to the internet a day, up from 500 million the year before. But while services like Picturelife have attracted thousands of paying customers — I’m one of them — they haven’t found enough to build a sustainable business.
I liked Picturelife. For a while, I used it to browse photos, even though I still kept a copy in Dropbox for backup.
These days, I'm using iCloud Photo Library, with no other backups or workflows involved. I pay €0.99/month for iCloud storage and all my pictures are on my iPhone, iPad, and iCloud.com. I realize that this is an unpopular choice – primarily because of iCloud's not-so-great reputation – but the service has been working flawlessly for me and I like how I don't have to think about managing it. It's built right there into the Camera and Photos app and it demolished the need for a third-party photo app for me.
I hope this post won't jinx it.
According to a notice added last week in the release notes of Panic’s Transmit, a popular file manager and FTP client released alongside iOS 8 in September, Apple has asked the company to remove the iCloud Drive “Send to” feature from the app. The removal of the feature was confirmed by Panic in a blog post today.
I'm in the process of importing five years of photos into iCloud Photo Library following an upgrade to the $0.99/month iCloud plan, and I wanted to share a quick tip about the experience.
Earlier today, Apple released iOS 8.1.1 with bug fixes and performance improvements for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.
What Apple doesn't specifically address in their release notes are two welcome fixes that people who use iOS devices extensively will likely notice: the order of action and share extensions in the system share sheet now sticks across apps and app relaunches; and, the iCloud hanging/crashing bug appears to be gone.
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is introducing a new feature of iCloud: iCloud Drive. Apple bills it as a feature that will let you:
...safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document in iCloud. Documents you store in iCloud Drive will be kept up to date across all of your devices, and you can access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.
This brief article aims to clarify what exactly iCloud Drive is, how you access it, as well as the big problem that it has.
Earlier this week Apple adjusted the pricing of their iCloud plans to be more competitive, and as part of those price reductions, Apple has also been ensuring that existing paid iCloud customers can take advantage of the discounts. As noted by MacRumors and others, Apple has begun emailing those customers, informing them that they will be given a refund based on the price reduction and the number of months remaining on their subscription.
As noted earlier this week, the new plans start at 20GB for $0.99 per month and range up to a 1TB plan for $19.99 per month. A big reason for the new iCloud pricing is the imminent introduction of iCloud Drive which allows users to store any kind of file and access it from any device.
As noted by 512 Pixels, Apple confirmed new iCloud pricing in the official iOS 8 press release today. These new pricing tiers are a substantial drop from Apple's previous annual storage upgrade pricing model.
The new pricing is as follows:
- 5GB for free
- 20GB at $0.99/month
- 200GB at $3.99/month
- 500GB at $9.99/month
- 1TB at $19.99/month
As interesting as these slashed price tags are, Apple is still competing with companies like Dropbox, who are currently giving away a terabyte of space for only $10 a month. Apple's edge in this market is definitely going to be their deep integration with the many upcoming features in iOS 8 that rely so heavily on cloud storage, such as the upcoming iCloud Drive.
You can read more about iCloud's new plans on Apple.com.
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Greg Pierce, the developer of Drafts, Phraseology, and Terminology, has written a post with his reasons for choosing CloudKit instead of other sync providers in iOS 8:
I’m glad choosing CloudKit removes the need for me to manage servers or engage another third party service to do so, but that is not why I chose it. I’m not afraid of servers.
Why am I willing to make these trade-offs for CloudKit, despite it’s limitations? Because, ultimately, developer perspectives aside, I felt it was the right choice for my customers.