Apple’s announcement at the World Wide Developers Expo in early June has caused quite a stir online. Soon the tech giant will be exploring competitive cloud services, which threatens to cut into the customer base at Dropbox and Google Drive.
Apple recently announced the new pricing tiers and capabilities of iCloud Drive, which builds on the company’s existing freemium cloud service. However, Apple is detangling the cloud storage integration from proprietary apps and giving your files room to breath in separate cloud storage drive.
Here are four of the highlights.
1. Lower prices
Currently, iCloud users have to pay $20 for a 10GB upgrade and $100 for a 50GB upgrade each year for storage space that goes beyond the free 5GB. Once iCloud Drive comes out with upgraded pricing tiers, however, users will be able to get 20 GB for $0.99 a month, which works out to just $12 a year.
This dramatic increase in storage capacity and reduction in price will make iCloud Drive far more accessible than its previous service.
2. Scalable capacities
If you can’t survive on just 20 GB, then you’re still covered. There are scalable storage capacities that range from 200GB to 1 TB, which will allow you to back up large hard drives and big files, such as movies and audio.
This can be a great advantage for small businesses or sole proprietors who would like to back up all their files on a single cloud storage account.
One of the most appealing aspects of iCloud Drive will be its integration for Apple mobile and computer platforms. The iCloud Drive capabilities are built directly into the upcoming Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 systems, so users won’t have to download separate software to access and edit their files.
The iCloud Drive folder will be visible from Finder, so you can just drag and drop files to this location, or save directly to it like any other folder.
4. Cross-platform support
One the most exciting services of iCloud Drive is its support for Windows. Apple’s products have been notoriously proprietary to their own hardware and operating systems. This cross-platform support makes iCloud Drive a potential contender in mixed platform business environments.
The enhancements to Apple’s current iCloud service will make cloud storage and sharing much easier for users on Apple devices and PCs. Web-based industries from digital marketing firms to web developers are keeping an eye on cloud technologies, since they can serve both clients and employees with important data.
It’ll be interesting to see how the cloud storage industry changes after iCloud Drive is unleashed.