For me a perfect world in terms of productivity at the office as well as at home would reside exclusively around Apple products. Macs became my computer of choice early on in my life based on their ease of use. This fineness for Apple products also extended to iPhones and eventually iPads. Unfortunately, though, I don’t have a choice when it comes to my tech at the office. I have worked for the government for close to twenty years now, and we are even less likely to have new and/or progressive tech at our disposal. Luckily, with the addition of iCloud Drive a couple of years ago, I’m not as restricted as I once was. With a simple internet connection I have access to my other iCloud synched devices via my browser window.
There are many options for consumers when it comes to cloud solutions for data storage these days. Most are affordable, and easy to use. However, like with many “services”, sometimes there are too many options available that can make the process of settling on a solution stressful and frustrating.
What is the Best Cloud Solution?
So what is the best cloud solution? Well that can depend on many different variables. However, as with many Apple “services” and apps–more often than not, the best solution is the one you already have built into your current ecosystem. Most iPad owners use the stock Mail App as well as Notes, Safari, Apple Music and even Apple Maps. For the most part, all Apple had to do was to create a decent Cloud Storage service, and the majority of iPad owners would use it as their default storage program.
I will admit, though, this was not always the case wth me. I still like to try new apps and services even though from time to time I was burned when they didn’t have the staying power or funding to compete with more established options. That all started to change for me the last time I upgraded my iCloud storage plan to 50GB. This was where I really started to take advantage of iCloud Drive–especially with the edition of my iPad Pro.
Now, I count on being able to save documents from various programs and keep them in one central location. This is crucial for me since I use a PC at work and I need to share my data across multiple devices and platforms. Perhaps one of my favorite sharing features from iCloud Drive is the desktop folder. While I’m at work using my PC I have access to a dedicated folder called the Desktop. This folder is just that–a central location that gives me access to all documents stored on my MacBook Pro at home. In addition, there aren’t restrictions to the type of documents I want to share or save. There are many apps supported on iCloud Drive–here are just a few…
- iA Writer
- Text Editor
Set-up is easy. Simply fog to Settings–> iCloud–> iCloud Drive–> turn on iCloud Drive–> follow the prompts.
To manage your files from your iPad, as well as monitor the available storage in iCloud, go to Settings–> iCloud–>storage. Once you select the app that is using iCloud Drive storage, you can look at individual files within the app and edit/remove them from storage. This can be done manually by swiping from right to left on the individual file or by selecting the edit button from the top, and checking off the files that you would like to remove. Your files and folders will be synched across all your devices, and you will be able to create new files and folders and work on the same file using multiple apps.
UPDATE: Some further explanation of accessing iCloud Drive on your iPad and in your Mac or PC Browser–thanks for the question Dave!
On your iPad, to allow apps to be stored in iCloud Drive you first have to turn on the feature. I don’t think it was on by default. To do that go to the Settings App–> scroll down to iCloud–> and then select iCloud Drive from the menu. If it isn’t on already, turn it on at the top of the menu, and set the “show on home screen” switch to the On position. This will now allow you to store documents and data in the cloud with easy access from a dedicated app icon. From now on you can access your iCloud data via the app or by signing into your iCloud account in any supported browser (iCloud.com) and select the iCloud Drive icon to view items stored there. Here they will be separated by the app they are stored in. In addition, you can create your own folders and even access all items that are located on your Mac desktop as long as you are signed into iCloud on your Mac. Some apps will also have menus built into the app where you can mange the data in each individual app.