Apple Says iCloud Folder Sharing in macOS Catalina Coming ‘This Spring’

Apple has delayed the introduction of iCloud Folder Sharing in macOS Catalina until spring 2020, according to its website.


The key cloud storage feature has spent months in development and would have allowed users to share folders in their iCloud Drive with other Apple users via a private link.

It first appeared in early beta versions of iOS 13, before it was pulled prior to the official release for iPhones and iPads last month after problems arose during testing. As expected, iCloud Folder Sharing hasn't made it to the Mac either. macOS Catalina was launched on Monday.

In early beta versions of macOS Catalina, right-clicking a folder in iCloud Drive revealed a submenu that allowed you to generate a private link to the folder and share it via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, or with people in your contacts.

Anyone who received the link was able to access the folder in iCloud Drive, add new files, and stay up-to-date with the latest file versions.

On its macOS Catalina features page, Apple says iCloud Drive folder sharing is now "Coming this spring." In contrast, on its iOS 13 features page, Apple says the feature is coming to iPhones and iPads "later this fall," although it's still unclear whether Apple just hasn't updated the page to reflect the extended delay. Either way, the latest iOS 13.2 beta 1 still does not appear to support the function.

As it stands, it's only possible to share individual files in iCloud Drive, which puts it at a significant disadvantage when compared to rival cloud-storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, which have provided folder-sharing capabilities for years.

If you still want to use iCloud to share multiple files, you could try sharing a compressed zip containing several files, or creating a sparseimage file using Disk Utility and putting files in that for sharing over icloud. Otherwise, an alternative cloud service is suggested for now.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

This article, "Apple Says iCloud Folder Sharing in macOS Catalina Coming 'This Spring'" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems

Apple today is experiencing problems with a host of iCloud-related services, as outlined on the company's system status page. Affected services include all of the basic iCloud services, as well as services like Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Game Center, Photos, and Screen Time.


The company says only that "some" users are affected, but social media reports suggest the outage is fairly widespread.

Apple is also having problems with its retail store systems, with a number of users reporting that employees are unable to complete customer purchases or support requests.





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Apple Launches New iCloud for Windows App in Microsoft Store

Apple today introduced a new iCloud for Windows app designed for PCs, according to a blog post shared by Microsoft. The new app is designed to allow Apple users to access their iCloud content on their Windows 10 PCs.

The iCloud app for Windows includes iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, and more.

What you can do with iCloud for Windows

- Safely store your photos and videos in iCloud. With iCloud Photos, any new photos and videos that you take on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch automatically download to your PC. And you can upload new photos and videos from your PC so that you can access them from your other devices too.
- Use Shared Albums to share photos and videos with just the people you choose. Then invite friends to add their own photos, videos, and comments.
- Get your documents on every device you use with iCloud Drive. Simply drag your documents into the iCloud Drive folder on your PC and access them at any time, on any device.
- Keep your iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders up to date automatically between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.
- Keep your Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome bookmarks on Windows the same as your Safari bookmarks.
- Update your iCloud preferences, see how much iCloud storage you're using, delete items to free up storage, and update your storage plan whenever you want.
According to Microsoft, the iCloud Drive feature on Windows is powered by the same Windows technology behind the OneDrive Files On-Demand Feature, which lets users be more productive offline on mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS.


Apple has a support document for getting started with iCloud for Windows, which basically requires having an existing iCloud setup on an Apple device.


Windows users can download iCloud for Windows from the Microsoft Store starting today.


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Apple Pay Now Accepted for iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud Purchases in Some Countries

Apple Pay is now an accepted payment method for iTunes, App Store, and Apple Books purchases, as well as Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document.


To link any credit or debit cards set up in the Wallet app with your Apple ID account, navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Next, select your Apple ID email and then tap View Apple ID > Manage Payments > Add Payment Method. The cards should be listed under a new "Found in Wallet" section.

This functionality is rolling out as a server-side change in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, so it is not available for all users yet.

In the United States, users can also link an Apple Pay Cash card to an Apple ID account.

There are a handful of benefits to Apple Pay billing for Apple ID account-tied purchases, including the ability to conveniently add multiple credit or debit cards, the improved security of Apple Pay, and the ability to better manage Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions from the Wallet app.

This functionality arrives ahead of the launch of the Apple Card credit card in the United States this summer.

(Thanks, Dean Lubaki!)


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Apple Says Some iCloud Services Experiencing Slowness

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect ongoing performance issues with a handful of iCloud services.

Apple says some users "may be experiencing slower than normal performance" when using the iCloud Drive, Notes, or Photos apps, while some users "may be experiencing a problem" with iCloud storage upgrades.

The issues began around 6 a.m. Pacific Time, according to Apple. We'll update this post once the issues have been resolved.


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Multiple iCloud Services Experiencing Issues

Several of Apple's iCloud services are experiencing issues this morning according to Apple's System Status page.

Find My iPhone, iCloud Backup, iCloud Drive, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Mail, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud, Photos, News, and more are all unavailable for an unspecified number of users.


The outage has been going on since approximately 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time, so if you've been experiencing problems with iCloud services, this is why.

It's not clear when the issue will be resolved, but Apple often addresses these problems quickly. We'll update this post when all of the iCloud services have been restored to working order.

Tag: iCloud

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Apple Releases iCloud for Windows Update to Fix Incompatibility Issues

Apple this afternoon released an update for iCloud for Windows, which is the iCloud software designed to run on the Windows operating system for those who have both Windows machines and own Apple devices.

iCloud for Windows version 7.8.1 is designed to fix compatibility issues with the latest version of Windows 10.


Earlier this month, Microsoft blocked the iCloud for Windows software from being downloaded by Windows users after Apple discovered an incompatibility that could result in problems updating Shared Albums after users upgraded to Windows 10 version 1809.

At the time, Microsoft said that it was working with Apple to provide a version of the iCloud software compatible with the latest version of Windows 10.

The fix isn't mentioned by Apple, but the company did revise a support document that had previously suggested iCloud for Windows was only compatible with Windows 10 through the April 2018 update rather than the most recent update.


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Multiple iCloud Services Experiencing Issues

Several iCloud services are experiencing problems this afternoon, according to Apple's System Status Page.

iCloud Drive, iCloud Mail, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Contacts, iCloud Calendar, Mail Drop, Find My iPhone, and more are performing "slower than normal" for some users.


The problem has been ongoing since 8:51 a.m. Pacific Time this morning, and there's no word on when it might clear up.

If you've been noticing problems with iCloud services, this outage is the reason why. We'll update this post when the problem is resolved.

Tag: iCloud

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Apple Denies Report Claiming Chinese Spies Planted Microchips in iCloud Servers

Bloomberg Businessweek today reports that around three years ago, the Chinese military began inserting microchips on Supermicro server motherboards while they were being manufactured in China, providing the Chinese government with a stealth doorway into any network that used the tampered hardware.


The report cites an official who said investigators found the attack eventually affected nearly 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon, along with a major bank and government contractors in the United States.

The microchip was placed on the motherboards in a way that allowed it to inject its own code or alter the order of the instructions the CPU was meant to follow, according to the report. One government official said China's goal was "long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks."

No consumer data is known to have been stolen, according to the report, but the extent of the attack appears to be unclear.

Apple was a longtime Supermicro customer, with plans to order more than 30,000 of its server motherboards in two years for its global network of data centers, which power services like the App Store and Siri.
Documents seen by Businessweek show that in 2014, Apple planned to order more than 6,000 Supermicro servers for installation in 17 locations, including Amsterdam, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Singapore, and Tokyo, plus 4,000 servers for its existing North Carolina and Oregon data centers. Those orders were supposed to double, to 20,000, by 2015.
The report claims Apple had around 7,000 of the motherboards in its data centers when its security team came across the microchips.

Apple reportedly discovered the suspicious chips on the motherboards around May 2015, after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. Two senior Apple insiders were cited as saying the company reported the incident to the FBI, but kept details about what it had detected tightly held.

The insiders cited in the report said in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after Apple identified the malicious chips, the company started removing all Supermicro servers from its data centers. Every one of the 7,000 or so Supermicro servers was replaced in a matter of weeks, according to one of the insiders.

In a strongly-worded statement, Apple denied Bloomberg Businessweek's report:
Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg's story relating to Apple.

On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.

In response to Bloomberg's latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.

As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.

We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.

While there has been no claim that customer data was involved, we take these allegations seriously and we want users to know that we do everything possible to safeguard the personal information they entrust to us. We also want them to know that what Bloomberg is reporting about Apple is inaccurate.

Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that's why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data.
Supermicro said it remains unaware of any such investigation, while Amazon denied having any knowledge of a supply chain compromise. Chinese officials did not directly address the report, stating that "supply chain safety in cyberspace is an issue of common concern, and China is also a victim."

However, in addition to the three Apple insiders, the report says four of six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim.

Apple did acknowledge a 2016 incident in which it discovered an infected driver on a single Supermicro server in one of its labs. Apple said that one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack.

Early last year, The Information reported that Apple cut ties with Supermicro in 2016 after unearthing a security vulnerability in at least one of its servers, which seems to be the incident that Apple is referring to in its statement. Apple has since moved on to other server suppliers, including ZT Systems and Inspur.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: China

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How to Share Files Stored in Your iCloud Drive

You can share files you've synced to iCloud with Apple device-owning friends and colleagues using the step-by-step guide below. Whether you're sharing from a Mac or an iPhone, you'll be able to give people one-way access to the file, or allow them to modify the document if you're collaborating on a piece of work.

The sharing options you choose automatically sync across your devices, so you could, for example, share a file on Mac and change access permissions on your iPhone or on iCloud.com at a later time. The following steps assume Mac users are running macOS High Sierra or later and that iPhone or iPad owners are on iOS 11 or later.

How to Share iCloud Files From Your Mac


  1. Open a Finder window and locate the file in iCloud that you want to share. It could be in iCloud Drive or another folder that you sync to iCloud, such as Desktop or Documents.

  2. Click the file to highlight it.

  3. Click the Share button and select Add People from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file and select Share -> Add People.

  4. Choose how you'd like to send your invitation to access the file. In our example, we're sharing a link via email. You can also click the chevron next to Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).
  5. Click Share.

  6. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file. In our example, an email compose window appears, ready to add recipients and click Send.

How to Share iCloud files on iPhone and iPad


  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Locate the file in iCloud Drive that you want to share.

  3. Tap Select in the upper right of the screen.

  4. Tap the file to check it in the selection.

  5. Tap the Share icon in the lower left of the screen.

  6. Tap Add People in the second row of the Share Sheet.

  7. Tap the method you'd like to use to send your invitation. You can also optionally tap Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).

  8. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file, ready for you to share.

How to Change Access Rights to a Shared iCloud File


Changing file sharing permissions via Mac or iOS is easy. Once you've shared an iCloud file, the Add People option you used in the above steps is replaced with a Show People option. Selecting this will display who has access to the file, including an option to Stop Sharing the file completely.


If you're on Mac, click the dotted icon next to a person's name to reveal options to change their permissions or Remove Access. If you're on iPhone or iPad, simply tap a person in the People list to access the same options.


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