What is iCloud Drive and differences with iCloud

Another free storage service from Apple, which is based on iCloud is iCloud Drive: here's what it is, how it works and what are the differences with iCloud.

Many Apple users, especially those who have recently approached the universe of the bitten apple, tend to be very confused about the differences between iCloud and iCloud Drive. What is iCloud Drive, in particular, is a question that is often at the center of the biggest doubts about the functioning of the services made available by the American company for its customers, also due to a climate of misinformation that still hovers over the world of storage "in the clouds". In this guide, we'll discover the nature of these platforms, what they are used for and what you need to do to get the best out of them on every Cupertino device you own. A simpler way, then, to approach the cloud storage service, useful for storing online all our documents and data more generally.

iCloud Drive: what is it and how it works

What is iCloud Drive then? To make it simple, it's a cloud storage service that is based on iCloud, itself a native service of Apple devices. Very similar to the well-known DropBox, it makes the process of sharing data between different devices very easy, storing them on the network in a single place and always making them available in a quick and intuitive way. To use it, and consequently allow iCloud to synchronize all the documents that will be uploaded to this service, it is absolutely necessary that you enable iCloud Backup and then activate the iCloud Drive entry.

You can do a quick check by going to the "Settings" of the iOS system, recognizable by a gear symbol, and tapping on your username, to then go to the "iCloud" entry. At this point, check that in the section Apps that use iCloud the words iCloud Drive are active.

The free storage space available, as some of you already know, is however limited to only 5GB. In any case, you can rely on the storage expansion plans provided by the company, which have a different cost depending on the period of use and the amount of data we want to store. Once you've activated iCloud Drive with the package you prefer, the actual operation turns out to be quite easy even for those who aren't exactly a "geek".

You'll be able to use it on iOS devices by going directly from the default File app, already present on the device, and anyway reinstallable at will. There are two screens in the app: the first, called Recents, lets you view all the documents you've recently opened; the other, Browse, gives you access to all the files you've uploaded to the cloud storage service. Pressing on the "Browse" item and the "iCloud Drive" item will then let you look at all the documents you have previously stored on the network.

Documents can also be downloaded. Simply tap on the document that has a cloud symbol with a downward arrow to start downloading to your device. This way, viewing the files will be accessible both online and once you're offline. Not only that, every time you go to open the interested document you'll be able to share it at your own discretion in other applications. The procedure involves pressing the button with the sharing symbol and then selecting the app to which we want to direct the file.

To close, it's important to remember that iCloud Drive is also accessible via the browser. All you have to do is connect to the official iCloud website, log in with Apple ID (email and password) and press the button with the arrow symbol to sign in. By selecting the "iCloud" item, you will see all the stored documents, by the way, which can also be downloaded to your computer.

iCloud and iCloud Drive: the differences

Now that you know what iCloud Drive is and how it works on iOS devices, and not only that, you will have understood that iCloud is essential to use it. It's no coincidence that both are related to Cloud storage on Apple products, with any information stored to "travel" simultaneously on the two platforms. iCloud is used to synchronize our files and save any information only for what concerns Apple devices, on the contrary iCloud Drive is specific to give continuity to sharing and allow interaction between different devices in our possession, without the need to copy and send individual files with slower and more cumbersome ways. To make it clearer, we can easily leave a Pages file in the middle on our Mac computer, move it to iCloud Drive, and pick it up later on our iPhone wherever we are.