Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

Why iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Will Change How You Use iCloud

In this article, Jason R. Rich takes a look at how Apple’s cloud-based iCloud service is once again evolving, and how this will impact Mac, iPhone, and iPad users once they upgrade to OS X Yosemite or iOS 8 in Fall 2014.
Like this article? We recommend

Apple’s online-based iCloud service continues to evolve into much more than a cloud-based file storage option. In conjunction with the release of iOS 8 for Apple’s mobile devices and OS X Yosemite for the Macs, Apple plans some significant changes to its popular iCloud service, which will impact what it can do, and how much users may have to pay in order to fully utilize it.

iCloud Will Offer Family Sharing for Certain Content

Currently, all content purchases made from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and Newsstand are automatically downloaded to the computer or device they’re initially purchased on, but at the same time, are instantly stored within a user’s iCloud account. Thus, the purchased content can then be accessed by any other computer or mobile device that’s linked to the same iCloud account without having to re-purchase that content. Apple provides as much storage space as is necessary for free.

One new iCloud feature that has been announced by Apple is called Family Sharing. Using this feature, up to six people within a family will now be able to share purchased content from the iTunes Store, iBookstore, or the App Store, even if their iCloud accounts are not otherwise linked. Once this feature is initially set up, all participating family members will be able to share their music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps without having to share their Apple ID (iCloud username) and password, or other data stored within their personal iCloud account.

In addition to being able to share all previously purchased content, all new content can now be acquired using either separate or a single credit/debit card(s), and parents can set it up so their kids require permission before making iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore/Newsstand purchases. This permission request will show up on a parent’s iPhone or iPad in the form of an interactive text message, so parents will be able to approve or decline the purchase request from almost anywhere with a single onscreen tap.

Thus, someone can now use their iCloud account to backup and sync their personal data from the Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, and Notes apps, as well as other app-specific data with all of their own Macs and iOS mobile devices, but not share this personal and potentially confidential information with others when sharing their content purchases.

Another feature of Family Sharing will give participating family members the ability share selected photos and videos with each other in the form of an online-based Family Photo Stream. Each family member will be able to select images or videos stored within their own Mac(s) or iOS mobile device(s), and have only that selected content uploaded to a central Family Photo Stream, where it will become accessible by other family members. However, all other images and videos that were not selected for the Family Photo Stream will remain private.

Meanwhile, while iCloud currently allows individuals to sync Calendar specific app data between all of their own computers and iOS mobile devices and access this data via iCloud.com, once Family Sharing is set up, a shared family-oriented calendar can also be created, which will be accessible by all family members.

This shared calendar data will be displayed within the Calendar app on Macs and iOS mobile devices, for example, and sync with all family members who will be able to view it, as well as add or edit new events. However, this data will always remain separate from personal calendars being managed by the Calendar app.

iCloud’s Family Sharing option also allows participating family members to track the location of other family members in real time. But, when someone wants their privacy, the location sharing option can be temporarily turned off.

iCloud Drive Makes Storing Files and Data More Efficient

Currently, iCloud can easily be set up to sync and backup app-specific data for Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. With the introduction of iCloud Drive, which will automatically become part of all iCloud accounts, individuals will be able to store other types of files, documents and content online, as a separate part of their iCloud account.

As soon as a file is uploaded to iCloud Drive, it will be securely accessible from all of the Macs, PCs, and iOS mobile devices that are linked to the same iCloud account. In other words, iCloud Drive will now offer some of the same functionality as other cloud-based file sharing and achieving services like Dropbox, for example.

Using iCloud Drive will provide yet another way to quickly and easily transfer files between computers and iOS mobile devices, as long as Internet access is available. While each of Apple’s iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) will immediately be compatible with iCloud Drive, allowing for files, documents, and data to immediately sync up, this functionality is likely to also be incorporated into third party apps, making it easy to begin working on a file using one computer or mobile device and then continue working on that same file on another computer or device without having to manually copy or transfer the file.

iCloud Photo Library Will Replace My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams

In 2015, a few months after the launch of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple plans to replace the iPhoto app on all Macs with a newly designed Photos app. At the same time, the Photos app for iOS mobile devices will again be updated. The new Photos app on all Macs and iOS mobile devices will take advantage of a feature called iCloud Photo Library.

Once enabled, all photos and videos created or stored on a Mac or iOS mobile device will automatically upload to iCloud, and then sync with all other computers and mobile devices that are linked to the same iCloud account. As a result, all image Albums will be accessible and kept up to date (as photos or videos are edited) on all of a user’s computers and mobile devices.

These image Albums will be stored online, so as long as a computer or mobile device has Internet access, they’ll be accessible. This will free up a lot of internal storage space within the computers or devices themselves. Using search tools built into the Photos app, all images will be easily searchable, and once edits are made, the updated images will be shared with all other computers and mobile devices linked to the same iCloud account.

Functionality will also be put in place that will allow users to share images and Albums with others, using a feature that’s similar to what is now referred to as iCloud Shared Photo Streams. As a result, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users will only need to organize and maintain one centralized photo/video collection, yet all of their individual images, videos, and Albums will be accessible on all of their Internet-connected devices.

iCloud Pricing Will Soon Change Too

Currently, the majority of iCloud’s features and functions are offered to all Apple users for free, with the exception of the iTunes Match service (which is used for syncing someone’s entire digital music collection, not just iTunes Store music purchases). Each iCloud account comes with 5GB of online storage space. However, Apple provides as much storage space as is needed for free.

In the past, if more than 5GB of online storage space was needed for personal files, iOS mobile device backups, or to store app-specific data, that storage space needed to be paid for. Starting in Fall 2014, when the majority of these new iCloud features and functions are introduced, a new pricing model will also be implemented.

The new pricing model will continue to offer 5GB of free online storage space. However, if you opt to heavily use the iCloud Drive feature or maintain backups of multiple iOS mobile devices using a single iCloud account, additional online storage space may be required. As of early July, Apple has announced only some of the new pricing options. For example, 20GB of additional online storage space will cost $0.99 per month, while 200GB will cost $3.99 per month. Additional, yet unannounced online storage options will also be available.

Final Thoughts…

Since it initially launched in October 2011, Apple has gone to great lengths to offer features and functions for easily backing up, syncing, and sharing data and files using iCloud, while offering functions not available from other cloud-based services. Much of this functionality is possible thanks to full integration with the iOS and OS X operating systems, as well as Apple’s own apps.

As Apple prepares to launch new versions of its powerful operating systems, it’s continuing to expand the capabilities of iCloud to offer easy and affordable solutions for backing up, syncing, and sharing data, content, documents, photos, and files, while also offering features like Find My and the ability to access app-specific data from iCloud.com.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020