six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Dan Moren

iCloud Drive’s file deleting problem

Developer Michael Tsai collects some data points from other folks about a wacky iCloud Drive loophole:

But what happens if there are files inside this folder that haven’t yet synced to your local machine? Well, the move operation will be slower, because your Mac has to first download them from iCloud Drive. But once they download, they’ll be in their new location. Right?

Nope. Those files are now gone. Forever.

(Note: The “Forever” bit appears to be overstating it. You can actually recover deleted files, but it’s not obvious. Nor is that an excuse for iCloud Drive not being better about ensuring your data remains intact when you do something like a simple move operation.)

Despite the fact that I’ve been using iCloud Drive more and more, the fact remains that I don’t quite trust it. It has some eccentricities. And it certainly doesn’t inspire the level of confidence that I have in Dropbox, Google Drive, or even Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Tsai’s anecdotes delve a bit into why that might be the case—specifically, how services are treated at Apple. I can’t say that I find that surprising, based on what I’ve seen and heard. The company’s never counted cloud storage as one of its strengths: back in the iDisk era I encountered a similar data loss loophole.

I think iCloud Drive is there because Apple thinks it needs to be in order to provide a full-featured ecosystem, but honestly, I’d be just as happy with more robust support for other cloud storage services.