Apple Merging 'iCloud Documents and Data' Service With iCloud Drive in May 2022
Apple plans to merge its iCloud Documents and Data service with iCloud Drive starting in May of 2022, according to a support document published late last week (via MacGeneration).
iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data share the fundamental ability to backup data from apps. However, iCloud Documents and Data was often a cumbersome, confusing experience. In contrast, iCloud Drive is more unified, with users able to access their files and content through the Files app across all their devices.
As Apple explains, starting in May of next year, users who are using iCloud Documents and Data will have their accounts automatically migrated to iCloud Drive. However, users must manually enable iCloud Drive to view their files once the merger occurs.
In May 2022, the iCloud Documents and Data service, our former document synchronization service, will be interrupted and completely replaced by iCloud Drive. Therefore, if you use iCloud Documents and Data, your account will be migrated to iCloud Drive after that date.
If you use the iCloud Documents and Data service, you must activate iCloud Drive by following the steps below to view your files. Upgrading to iCloud Drive does not change the storage space used by your files saved in iCloud.
iCloud Drive launched in 2014 as a unified, seamless way for Apple users to keep all their files, documents, and more synchronized across all their devices. To activate it, users on iOS or iPadOS devices can go to Settings -> iCloud and enable iCloud Drive, or through System Preference -> iCloud, and select iCloud Drive on macOS.
Top Rated Comments
As there was no Files app on iOS, lets say you created a new document in Pages on your iPad it would auto save in the app. iCloud Documents and Data then put the document in the cloud so if you opened Pages on your Mac you were given a list of documents saved and could continue editing, your changes are then auto saved back into the app.
It was intended to make things simple and fit the new apps paradigm of iOS. I want to play Music, I go to the Music app. I want to edit a document, I go to the Pages app.
The problem is it's very limiting, you can't create folders that have files from two apps etc, and it didn't interface with the file system on Mac making the whole thing confusing. Finally Apple gave in with this approach and allowed a file system on iOS along with iCloud Drive which lets create your own file system that can be accessed across all devices.
It still hangs around though. Create a Pages document and you get the option to save in the Pages app or in Files. You also get app folders that sit in iCloud Drive cluttering it up. Glad it's finally going away.
This was invented before file structures were accessible on iOS and I would be very happy if they went away. Saving files “inside” the apps was a horrible idea by Steve Jobs.
The amount of times I've had to attempt to explain how iCloud works to people who are not tech-savvy has been unbearable. It was, in my opinion, always such n illogical system. Trying too hard to be clever and simplifying things, and as a result making it more confusing.