macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac.
In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of its Mac app to beta testers in March. In the meantime, Dropbox users who update to macOS 12.3 will still be able to open online-only files in Finder.
Dropbox did not provide any further details, but Microsoft recently said macOS 12.2 will be the last version that supports its own cloud storage service OneDrive's current online-only files implementation. Microsoft said OneDrive will be getting a new online-only files experience that is "more integrated with macOS" and "will have long-term support from Apple," adding that the current version is built on several technologies that are "now deprecated."
Altogether, it appears likely that Apple has given cloud storage services like Dropbox and OneDrive advanced notice about system-level changes that will affect online-only files starting with macOS 12.3. We've reached out to Apple and Dropbox for further details, but so far have not received any additional information.
Apple will likely release macOS 12.2 within the next week or so, and then macOS 12.3 beta testing should begin shortly after that.
Top Rated Comments
Their new little idea just screwed up my entire OneDrive workflow, because, guess what, I actually like having big external drives connected to my Macs and my entire OneDrive file structure ALWAYS available offline.
Here's the thing: with this newfangled API, not only the OneDrive folders look ridiculously amateurish (they are basically aliases, while the cache is the old folder, except renamed as “.ODContainer-OneDrive”, but the path given to the files is stored at ~/Library/CloudStorage, whether these two are on the same physical volume or not, but… users aren't exactly warned about that change at all) ALL files are treated as if they were only available on-line, whether they are cached locally or not, which means… NOTHING “Mac-like”/native works. No custom icons, no file tags/labels, no QuickLook… A complete, unmitigated mess. I don't know who screwed the pooch on this one, but I'm not about to sit idly by waiting for them to sort out this mess.
So what did I do? I immediately called Apple Care and demanded them to escalate this to Engineering at Cupertino, which I suspect they eventually will. I have a scheduled call on February the 5th with the same expert that answered me (she even knew from memory – or was a really fast researcher – that the equivalent iCloud solution by Apple stores stuff in ~/Library/Mobile Documents, so I'd say she was pretty knowledgable about the inner workings of macOS), so that we may produce a proper feedback report, complete with user logs and whatnot.
Then, I proceeded to shut down all instances of OneDrive, turn on hidden file view on the Finder (by pressing Command+Shift+period) and MOVE the whole shebang into my unlimited storage, academic Google Drive account. I'm giving up auto-save and one-click versioning access in Office365 apps, but honestly, considering how I already have a Time Machine backup drive permanently attached… Good riddance!
But Apple isn't getting away with this anyway… Why they would turn on this API mid-cycle, on a point update focused on an EXTREMELY important Safari security patch, instead of on a major 1x.0 version, when users kind of expect this level of disruption by default, is beyond me. This isn't added functionality, this is a functionality-breaking API change, and it's extremely bad form.
If Apple forces Google Drive to adopt this and messes that solution up as well, I'm gonna go mediaeval on them. I am, however, a bit optimistic; it's almost as if Google engineers knew – and cared about – just how bad the API was and, when forced to move away from the old one – which might explain why they changed their app from “Google Backup and Sync” back to “Google Drive”, but maybe that was just a happy coincidence – they just came up with their own custom thing… which I'm still not a huge fan of (those stupid “virtual connected server” links it creates on the sidebar every time it loads really nag me), but considering how the file structure still works and feels completely native, screw it. It's now my go-to solution for cloud storage, and I hope it stays that way.