Viticci On The iCloud Document Model

19 October 2012


After three months, I keep hoping that Apple is considering the possibility of real iCloud documents, not just app documents. Like Dan and I suggested, they could be the same files with an extra “shared“ privilege; or — mine is a more futuristic alternative — iCloud could simply have its own “Documents” area that contains files any app can open and send updates to.

If Apple had wanted to set up iCloud like that, I think they would have done so at launch. App-per-app documents isn’t a technical problem; it was a design choice. A shared folder structure isn’t “futuristic” or hard — there is already a ‘typical’ filesystem underneath iOS, it is just hidden from normal users.

For better or for worse, Apple decided that this is how documents should be managed in an modern OS. In fact, they decided it before iCloud even existed, with the debut of the original iPad.

Apple has clearly chosen this model of file management and, unfortunately, I don’t expect them to change their vision in the near term.