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iCloud started as a very limited way to store app-specific data and content in the cloud. For the most part, it worked with Apple’s own apps. iOS 8 brings some much-needed improvements to iCloud. iCloud Drive expands on the storage types offered, making it possible for third-party apps to open other documents. It’s still not a disk drive or file manager, but Apple seems to shun that metaphor in favor of something more intuitive. Craig Federighi presented the example of Sketcher opening a picture from an e-reader app. Both apps are developed by third parties. Enterprise apps will also be able to take advantage of third-party document providers in iCloud. This is one of the many ways that iOS 8 is more open than its predecessor.
iCloud offers improved storage and synchronization with the Photos app. If you mark a photo as a favorite, it is stored in iCloud and made available to all of your other devices. Furthermore, edits made to a photo will propagate to your other devices.
Third-party developers have a new SDK that will help them implement iCloud solutions — CloudKit. This software development kit will eliminate the need of web-based components for most application developers. Instead of writing client-side and server-side code, the new SDK allows developers to handle server-side logic within the client application (the iOS app) code. This means that apps will be able to use iCloud with ease, and in most cases, for free. Expect to see a whole new generation of apps that can store and retrieve data from the cloud. This will enable them to sync up with all of your devices and store data on iCloud — freeing up space on your device. It will also keep your data safe. If you lose or damage your device, your documents will be stored on iCloud.
Fortune 500 companies love Apple devices. Ninety-eight percent of Fortune 500 companies use iOS devices. iOS 8 brings the Device Enrollment Program, which simplifies the configuration of a new device. If you work at a corporation, you are probably aware that getting a new device is not a simple task. The IT department must unbox the device and image it with all of the software and security patches used by the corporation. They must configure all of the settings on the device. Apple has simplified this process. With the Device Enrollment Program, iOS devices can be automatically configured out of the box. (continue…)