Apple makes Windows 10 less terrible with refreshed iCloud app in Microsoft Store
Most iPhone users do not own a Mac. If they did, Apple's desktop market share wouldn't be so low compared to Windows. That's historically not a big deal for Apple, since its Mac business was never really about volume -- the company make a fortune off the marked up machines as it is.
The problem, however, is the company is increasingly focusing on services. And as great as iCloud is, the Windows experience has been abysmal. Yes, iCloud on Windows is functional, but it is not even close to the elegance of macOS. So when an iOS user needed to use Windows 10 for iCloud, it made the OS seem sort of... terrible. While Microsoft's desktop OS has lots of problems, and some consider it to be quite bad, the iCloud deficiencies (slow, buggy, etc.) were not really the fault of the OS -- that was Apple's failure. Well, except that one time.
Today, thankfully, this should largely be remedied thanks to a collaboration between Apple and Microsoft. The first bit of news is quite impressive on its own -- iCloud is now in the Microsoft Store! Even better, however, is that this iCloud app should actually, you know, work properly now. Yes, it has been newly refreshed. In fact, Microsoft claims the iCloud experience on Windows 10 should now be on the same level as its own OneDrive. Wow.
"Apple and Microsoft are making it easy for customers to access and enjoy the benefits of their iCloud account across their Windows 10 PC and Apple devices with the all-new iCloud for Windows app available today from the Microsoft Store. You can easily access your photos, videos, mail, calendar, files and other important information from your iCloud account on the go and on your Windows 10 PC. iCloud is home to iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks and more," says Giorgio Sardo, Engineering General Manager for Microsoft 365 Developer Ecosystem, Microsoft.
Speaking on the aforementioned parity with OneDrive, Sardo explains, "The new iCloud for Windows app introduces a new iCloud Drive experience for Windows 10 users powered by the same Windows technology that also powers OneDrive’s Files On-Demand feature, enabling users to be more productive offline on mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS."
Microsoft shares the following features of the newly refreshed iCloud app.
- Access your iCloud Drive files right from File Explorer, without using up space on your PC
- Choose the files and folders you want to keep on your PC
- Safely store all your files in iCloud Drive and access them from your iOS device, Mac and on iCloud.com
- Share any file right from File Explorer and easily collaborate with others – edits will be synced across your devices
Whether or not you think Windows 10 is terrible is open for debate -- it is a matter of personal preference, really. What is certain, however, is iCloud on Microsoft's operating system has been terrible for those that rely on Apple’s service. This new version of the app should provide iOS users with a more positive experience, which hopefully for Microsoft, should improve the perception about Windows 10 too. Ultimately, it should prove to be a win for both companies.
If you are an iCloud user and want to try the new app, you can get it from the Microsoft Store here now.