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June 3, 2014

Apple takes on Dropbox with iCloud Drive

Tech giant reveals its file-sharing service.

By Joe Curtis

Apple declared its intentions to take on Dropbox with yesterday’s announcement of iCloud Drive at WWDC 2014, its annual developer conference.

The file-sharing service will allow users of the tech giant’s devices to sync files across OS X, its desktop operating system, iPhone’s iOS operating system and Windows, competing with Dropbox’s own cloud syncing solutions.

iCloud Drive also introduces a file browser to iOS for the first time, though there is no app yet for the service, meaning users can’t locate files in the cloud drive without using an app that hooks into iCloud Drive.

The announcement marks a change in strategy away from Apple’s focus on apps in the cloud and towards a more agnostic approach that allows users to share files regardless of what application was used to create them.

However, it is not yet clear whether Apple will break down its walled garden further by opening up APIs to Android and Windows Phone app developers so that they can work on the iCloud platform.

The tech giant is competing with the likes of Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive, as well as providing consumer-facing competition for Dropbox at a time when the startup is trying to break into the enterprise market.

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Apple will offer cloud storage on a monthly subscription basis, with 20 GB of storage for $0.99 per month and 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

Prices for storage up to 1TB have not been released as of yet, but anyone with an iCloud account gets 5GB free.

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