Apple's iCloud Drive: Late, but integration, UI matters

Will iCloud Drive hurt the pure plays such as Dropbox, Box and a bevy of others? Not immediately. However, iCloud Drive will be used since services are becoming embedded seamlessly into the software.

icloud drive
iCloud Drive: About time.

In a move that puts it in competition with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, Apple launched iCloud Drive. The move aims to provide cloud sharing and synchronization of documents to Apple's installed base.

Speaking during Apple's WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, highlighted iCloud Drive and how it integrates with the company's latest OS X, Yosemite. iCloud Drive is designed to hold docs from iOS, OS X and Windows for good measure and will integrate with third party document providers.

CNET live blog from WWDC

iCloud Drive highlights two key points:

  1. Apple is behind the curve in services since cloud drives are everywhere.
  2. But Apple has a big installed base and can gain traction quickly by integrating cloud services better with its user interface, software and hardware.

Here are a few data points that highlight how Apple's penchant for software and hardware integration applies to the cloud.

  • Yosemite and mail are integrated with iCloud Drive. Mail can be encrypted via iCloud Drive and picked up.
  • iCloud Drive comes with a UI overhaul and basic storage is an easy add on.
  • iCloud Drive links iOS and OS X better.
  • Docs are available in Finder and tagged as well as synchronized.
  • Every photo taken on an Apple device will be backed up to iCloud. 
  • The pricing goes like this for photos. First 5GB is free; 20GB for $0.99 per month and 200GB for $3.99 per month.

Will iCloud Drive hurt the pure plays such as Dropbox, Box and a bevy of others? Not immediately. However, iCloud Drive will be used since services are becoming embedded seamlessly into the software. Apple may not be a cloud front runner but is playing to its strengths---integration and UI.

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