Windows laptop users who own Apple devices and rely on iCloud just received a new killer app.
The app comes courtesy of a partnership between Microsoft and Apple, who have been working together to create a new iCloud app that makes it easier for PC users who own Apple products to store and access files.
In a blog post, Microsoft says that the new iCloud app uses the same technology that powers OneDrive’s Files On-Demand feature, which lets you access files without having to fully download them. Instead, a placeholder is downloaded and files are only completely downloaded when a folder is marked for sync. This saves you valuable disk space on your Windows PC.
“If you use iCloud for Windows 10, you can use iCloud Drive to initiate shared files or to optimize files. You can also pin files or folders locally so they don’t optimize back to iCloud, and access shared photo streams and improved iCloud Photo Library support,” Apple notes
Other benefits of the revamped app are that it will let you access files directly from File Explorer, and easily retrieve photos, videos, mail, calendar, files and other information from your iCloud account on the go. Conversely, you can store files in iCloud Drive from the File Explorer then access them on your iOS device, Mac or on iCloud.com. The new iCloud for Windows app also supports collaboration, so you can make edits to a file and they’ll be synced across all of your devices.
Apple has set up a support page explaining what iCloud for Windows can do and what the requirements are for using it. Basically, you just need to set up iCloud on an Apple device first (an iOS device with iOS 5 or later, or a Mac with Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 or later). Once you’ve done that, it’s straightforward.
The move is however considered impressive and encouraging to see both Microsoft and Apple working together on a Windows app, especially as Apple has used Microsoft’s latest Windows APIs for cloud storage sync. This brings hope that Apple’s TV and Music services may eventually appear on Windows in the future. You can download the new iCloud app for free from the Microsoft Store today.