Apple moves launch of macOS Catalina iCloud folder sharing to spring 2020

Posted:
in General Discussion
The promised macOS Catalina feature that will give iCloud the Dropbox-like capability to share an entire folder instead of individual files, has quietly been delayed to early 2020.

The inability to share folders in iCloud Drive is a key reason Dropbox and others are compelling alternatives
The inability to share folders in iCloud Drive is a key reason Dropbox and others are compelling alternatives


Apple's new macOS Catalina is now publicly available, but still not all of its promised features have arrived. In particular, the much-awaited ability to share iCloud folders has now been delayed further and isn't expected until Spring 2020.

Currently users can share an individual document that they have stored in iCloud Drive, but they can't nominate an entire folder to be shared. This means iCloud Drive lacks the ability, for instance, to have a single folder that multiple members of a team or family can use together.

It isn't the first delay this feature has seen, with it most recently being listed as coming later in the fall of 2019.

Neither delay has been formally announced or explained by Apple. The company's page promoting new macOS Catalina features continues to include the feature, but a footnote lists the latest delay.

Apple maintains similar pages promoting the features of both iOS 13 and iPadOS. These also list the delay, but as yet continue to claim that iCloud Drive folder sharing is coming later this fall.

The inability to share folders like this has been a significant failing in iCloud Drive compared to similar services such as Dropbox, or Microsoft's OneDrive.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    uraharaurahara Posts: 309member
    Sharing folders was why I have installed yesterday Catalina on my family Macs. 
    Let’s wait. I hope they will figure it out better than AirPower Mat. 
    edited October 8 PetrolDavewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 41
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    muthuk_vanalingamflyingdpmistergsf
  • Reply 3 of 41
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 186member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    Ignorance is bliss. You, I, and others have no idea what the issue is. I’m happy to wait for Apple to get it perfect and not deliver a half-baked solution that is just pushed out the door. 
    macplusplusStrangeDaysfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 41
    I doubt it's a programming issue, since everything is already there in terms of software.

    Judging from the current performance of Documents in the Cloud and iCloud Photo Library, I'd guess that Apple want the serving side of it be robust enough before releasing the feature to more than a billion devices.
    badmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 41
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Maybe Apple is building new data centres for this hence the delay.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 41
    cincyteecincytee Posts: 282member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    No, but it might be rocket science to figure how to do it in a way that doesn't get them sued by Dropbox or Microsoft or Google.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 41
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,193member
    I suspect the delay is all about security and privacy concerns. The past decade has taught us that there’s a huge difference between getting something to work and getting something to work securely. The consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating to a company like Apple which prides itself on maintaining security and privacy as an utmost concern. Lesser companies, and especially ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy, would ship it now and patch it later. 
    StrangeDaysbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 41
    AirPlay 2 all over again...
  • Reply 9 of 41
    jimh2 said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    Ignorance is bliss. You, I, and others have no idea what the issue is. I’m happy to wait for Apple to get it perfect and not deliver a half-baked solution that is just pushed out the door. 
    Yes, because so much of what Apple releases lately is "perfect".  You could be waiting a long time for that.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    dewme said:
    I suspect the delay is all about security and privacy concerns. The past decade has taught us that there’s a huge difference between getting something to work and getting something to work securely. The consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating to a company like Apple which prides itself on maintaining security and privacy as an utmost concern. Lesser companies, and especially ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy, would ship it now and patch it later. 
    You did read that Apple already shares files, just not folders?  Is there some difference in security and privacy between sharing folders and sharing files?
  • Reply 11 of 41
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,193member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    dewme said:
    I suspect the delay is all about security and privacy concerns. The past decade has taught us that there’s a huge difference between getting something to work and getting something to work securely. The consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating to a company like Apple which prides itself on maintaining security and privacy as an utmost concern. Lesser companies, and especially ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy, would ship it now and patch it later. 
    You did read that Apple already shares files, just not folders?  Is there some difference in security and privacy between sharing folders and sharing files?
    Yes there is a big difference. Marking an existing file for sharing, one that has clear ownership and permissions, is much different than marking a container/folder for sharing. A shared container can contain files from multiple owners with different permissions. Not to mention, iCloud storage has capacity limitations linked to the account holder. I suppose someone could intentionally edit a shared file to make it consume a lot more of your storage capacity, up to whatever limits are placed on individual files. With a shared folder someone could fill your folder with files and consume all of your capacity.  So there are obvious differences between sharing files vs sharing folders.  Sure, you could treat it as a free-for-all with no ownership and simply hope for the best.
    edited October 8 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 41
    I wish all of Catalina had been delayed until the Spring of 2020.  This release really feels half baked.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    dewme said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    dewme said:
    I suspect the delay is all about security and privacy concerns. The past decade has taught us that there’s a huge difference between getting something to work and getting something to work securely. The consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating to a company like Apple which prides itself on maintaining security and privacy as an utmost concern. Lesser companies, and especially ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy, would ship it now and patch it later. 
    You did read that Apple already shares files, just not folders?  Is there some difference in security and privacy between sharing folders and sharing files?
    Yes there is a big difference. Marking an existing file for sharing, one that has clear ownership and permissions, is much different than marking a container/folder for sharing. A shared container can contain files from multiple owners with different permissions. Not to mention, iCloud storage has capacity limitations linked to the account holder. I suppose someone could intentionally edit a shared file to make it consume a lot more of your storage capacity, up to whatever limits are placed on individual files. With a shared folder someone could fill your folder with files and consume all of your capacity.  So there are obvious differences between sharing files vs sharing folders.  Sure, you could treat it as a free-for-all with no ownership and simply hope for the best.
    iCloud...it's MY STUFF.  Want to share a folder of files with a colleague or a friend.  Can already do with Dropbox.  Can already do with OneDrive.  Maybe with Google Drive (I don't use it).

    Again, not rocket science.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    netroxnetrox Posts: 820member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    Could be patent issues. You know that apple gets sued a lot.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 41
    I wish all of Catalina had been delayed until the Spring of 2020.  This release really feels half baked.
    In what way?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 41
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,919member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    dewme said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    dewme said:
    I suspect the delay is all about security and privacy concerns. The past decade has taught us that there’s a huge difference between getting something to work and getting something to work securely. The consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating to a company like Apple which prides itself on maintaining security and privacy as an utmost concern. Lesser companies, and especially ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about privacy, would ship it now and patch it later. 
    You did read that Apple already shares files, just not folders?  Is there some difference in security and privacy between sharing folders and sharing files?
    Yes there is a big difference. Marking an existing file for sharing, one that has clear ownership and permissions, is much different than marking a container/folder for sharing. A shared container can contain files from multiple owners with different permissions. Not to mention, iCloud storage has capacity limitations linked to the account holder. I suppose someone could intentionally edit a shared file to make it consume a lot more of your storage capacity, up to whatever limits are placed on individual files. With a shared folder someone could fill your folder with files and consume all of your capacity.  So there are obvious differences between sharing files vs sharing folders.  Sure, you could treat it as a free-for-all with no ownership and simply hope for the best.
    iCloud...it's MY STUFF.  Want to share a folder of files with a colleague or a friend.  Can already do with Dropbox.  Can already do with OneDrive.  Maybe with Google Drive (I don't use it).

    Again, not rocket science.
    That isn’t your Internet provider’s webFTP.

    And security is indeed rocket science.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    You're an IT guy but I'm assuming not a software or security engineer. I would bet this is a matter of tightening down the bolts on the security model used. It usually is with Apple, such as why they had to do a lot of work on iOS to enable USB storage devices without compromising the file system. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member

    cincytee said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    No, but it might be rocket science to figure how to do it in a way that doesn't get them sued by Dropbox or Microsoft or Google.
    Very unlikely. Patents cover implementations, not feature ideas. As long as their code is their own that shouldn't be it.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member

    ITGUYINSD said:
    jimh2 said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Is it really rocket science to figure out how to share a cloud-based folder?  You have to wonder about Apple sometimes...
    Ignorance is bliss. You, I, and others have no idea what the issue is. I’m happy to wait for Apple to get it perfect and not deliver a half-baked solution that is just pushed out the door. 
    Yes, because so much of what Apple releases lately is "perfect".  You could be waiting a long time for that.
    Uh yeah, like never. Software developers are still humans, nobody is perfect. I am quite certain your IT org is far from perfect as well, right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member

    I wish all of Catalina had been delayed until the Spring of 2020.  This release really feels half baked.
    I'm experiencing no problems on my machine, so I wouldn't have wanted to wait. What issues specifically are causing down time for you? Must be something pretty major, right?
    watto_cobra
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