Apple has fired a shot across the bow of Dropbox, Box and others with the addition of iCloud File Sharing.
Steve Jobs famously tried to buy Dropbox years before the company went public, describing the business as a “feature, not a product.” In the ensuing years, Apple has slowly (some might say glacially) improved iCloud to better compete with dedicated file storage options, including offering a level of integration that other services struggle to match.
First announced at WWDC 2019, with the latest round of iOS, iPadOS and macOS updates, the File Sharing feature has finally debuted.
“With iCloud File Sharing, you can share folders and documents in iCloud Drive with other iCloud users,” reads Apple’s support site. “You and the people you invite can view and even work on your documents. The people who receive your invitation can click a link to download the shared folder or file from iCloud to any of their devices. Everyone views the same shared items. If you allow others to make edits, they can change the files and you see the updates the next time you open the files on your Mac.”
iCloud’s new feature includes all the necessary options to control who can do what with a given file or folder. While iCloud File Sharing won’t replace Dropbox, Box or others for heavy use, or in a business setting, it will likely cause many casual users to rethink their subscriptions to third-party services.