When it’s time for the annual update to a fresh version of Apple's iOS, it’s not uncommon for iPhone and iPad users to meet this news with a groan. Fortunately, this year’s move to iOS 10 should be one that you’ll want to have on day one. It doesn’t perform a major overhaul, but instead does some tightening up when it comes to keeping your workflow humming along when you switch from the desktop to mobile.
For most of what we’ve uncovered you’ll need a Mac, which will get the companion features with macOS Sierra. But even if you still have a hand in the Windows world, there are some upgrades in how iCloud manages data that will be welcome for your day to day usage.
COPY AND PASTE WITHOUT ON YOUR MOBILE WITHOUT FUMBLING
The best bit of magic coming your way is if you use an iPhone in combination with a Mac. Continuing the work that began with Handoff, Apple is putting the cloud to use in order to keep your workflow more tightly tied between a Mac and iPhone.
Universal copy paste: Forget emailing yourself links or notes with the Universal Copy and Paste feature coming in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.
You’ll be able to copy images, video, and text easily between an iPhone and Mac. It works in both directions if you’re using iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. The ability to save an image right to your phone for easy sharing can definitely save you a few steps.
Of course, in Apple fashion this is only going to work if you are fully within the iOS/macOS ecosystem. If you pair up Windows with an iPhone, your best bet is to still rely on third-party tools or use the iCloud.com interface, which lets you create notes and Pages files for quick retrieval on mobile.
YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FIND SPECIFIC FILES IN YOUR PERSONAL CLOUD
Apple’s iCloud Drive may not have the wide user base of third-party services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and others. But don’t discount the fact that iCloud will have deep integration with iOS 10 and will perform background work that will keep things in sync.
Additionally, items on your iPhone or iPad will tap into iCloud so Spotlight can more easily find specific files. Try typing in the name of a Word document, Excel file, or Google doc and you’re likely to see it pop up right away instead of digging through the file menu inside of the specific application.
iCloud Drive - Apple’s latest cloud moves may brings us one step closer to an always-connected computing platform.
Specifically for you, this means it can sync not just the Documents folder but also your desktop. This goes a long way towards keeping things in sync if you have an iMac on the desk and a MacBook Air as the travel companion. Granted, if you’re all in with Office or Google Drive this may not impact your work files, but it gives you a way to quickly know where you’ve placed something or grab that image that is hanging out on the desktop and never made it over.
It’s also worth noting this may not be free. Storage (which includes backing up all your photos and videos) will cost the following:
For 5GB: Free
For 50GB: $0.99 per month ($11.88/year)
For 200GB: $2.99 per month ($35.88/year)
For 1TB: $9.99 per month ($119.88/year)
Keeping your stuff all synced up isn’t new by any means; Apple is able to leverage the tight control of its ecosystem for those who have fully embraced it.
The challenge is greater for those who by choice or necessity are platform agnostic, as it means they’ll continue to look to Google and Microsoft who have staked big claims in allowing you to stay productive ina an always-connected world.