Ever since I moved to a 64GB iPhone my iPad has been complaining about running out of storage on a daily basis. The main culprit is the new iCloud Photo Library, but iCloud Drive is also a big factor.
iCloud syncs data across devices and caches as much as it can on a device. Since I started filling up my bigger iPhone, the iPad got a lot more iCloud data to sync, and thus it filled up completely. Already pushing the limits of my 32GB model before that, I decided to switch to a new iPad with more storage. So just as storage capacity was the reason I went to the new iPhone, it also pushed me to a new iPad.
Apple really should add some kind of selective sync to iCloud Drive. I’ve got lots of keynotes saved in iCloud Drive, but I don’t need those on my iPhone, I use the keynote app on my iPhone only as a remote. Similar there’s lots of PDF files saved in PDF Expert, but I only need the files made in the last month cached on my devices. But iCloud is an all or nothing story. Either it syncs all your cloud data to all your devices (or at least the data from apps you’ve got installed), or nothing. Which means the amount of usable iCloud storage is dictated by the smallest device you own and not by the amount of cloud storage you buy.
Yesterday I found out the new iPad Air 2 was already being delivered at a couple of shops from the chain I work for. Fast forward to today and I’m typing this on a new space gray 64 model.
First hardware impressions: it’s fast, the screen is gorgeous and switching back to a bigger display from the iPad mini makes me question why I ever wanted an iPad mini in the first place.
On the software side I’m less impressed. iCloud Drive took al night to download my data and even though the process was filling up storage, no files where visible in the document picker until all files where downloaded this morning. Not very informative and it almost made me wonder if something was terribly wrong with my iCloud Drive. Sync should have a status indictator.
Apps running on Cloudkit even required me to reinstall them from scratch due to a bug in iOS 8.1, so they could download their data. But I can probably blame at on the technology being brand new and bugs.
The rest of the setup process was smooth as ever. Restoring from an iCloud Backup is something Apple has really perfected, and now that restoring apps is finally making us of caching servers, my apps were downloaded in less than an hour.
Even though the new iPad Air isn’t a major evolution compared to last years model, it’s a decent machine, more than powerful enough to run iOS 8 with all its bells and whistles turned on.