We can (finally !) share files iCloud Drive with iOS 13, and macOS 10.15

Over the years, Apple adds small features to iCloud Drive, its service for synchronizing files. With iOS 13, and macOS 10.15, we will finally (FINALLY !) to share a folder and only a single document. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive… all the services, competitors were already doing since several years and if you count over only to share folders, you will no longer need to do this in the fall.

A shared folder that is seen from an iPad.

The sharing of a folder is done exactly as the sharing of a file classic : via a secondary click on macOS, and via the menu sharing on iOS 13. Choose the option ” Add people “, enter the name of the contacts to invite and choose a method to send them the share link (by messages, by mail, by copying the link, etc). You can invite only one person or several at once.

Novelty of iOS 13, this context menu is displayed after a tap and hold gesture on a folder allows you to initiate the sharing.

In the menu of sharing, choose the option “Add people” (not translated in the first beta), and then select a method. You will then need to select one or more contacts.

By opening the link, the invited people will be able to validate the addition and they will be able to access the shared folder at the root of their iCloud Drive. This default location cannot be changed afterwards, at least not in the current beta. You can move it in another folder, but the system will only return quickly to its original place. Hope this will be fixed, otherwise it will quickly be complicated to manage. This limit does not apply to the original creator of the shared folder, any (sub-)folder that can be shared without changing its location.

The creator of the shared folder may choose to provide read-only access or also write. In the latter case, the invited people will be able to modify the contents of the folder, add files or on the contrary delete, create sub-folders and move items. On iOS as on macOS, the name of the persons who have created or modified each item is mentioned in the interface.

App Files iOS 13 displays the name of the one who has shared a file, or of the person who modified it last.

The Finder of macOS 10.15 mentions in the same way that created or modified each item within the shared folder.

Sharing folders works as expected, all the changes made to the files are available to everyone in the aftermath. Apple has provided a dialog box to confirm the deletion of an item in the shared folder, a handy precaution, since the deletion will be for all the world. The message is not translated in the first beta of iPadOS 13, but this is fairly normal at this stage.

It is necessary to confirm the deletion of a file within a shared folder, since this removal will be for everyone.

As for the shared files, the creator of the sharing keeps the control over the access to the data. It can remove access to a specific person, completely stop sharing, or switch to read-only mode. If he wants to stop the sharing, the file will be stored in its space on iCloud Drive, but deleted in others.

However, and it is hoped that this is only a bug of the beta, it is not possible to delete a shared folder once you are accepted to access as a guest. An error message is displayed when trying to delete the shared folder and we have not found any option anywhere to stop sharing. In the state, this shared folder can contain several gigabytes of files and fill up your storage space on iCloud Drive and you will not be able to do nothing to avoid it.

To delete a shared folder to which we were invited displays this error message for the moment. Let’s hope this is a bug of the beta, and not forgetting Apple…

The shared folders on iCloud Drive requires iOS 13 and macOS 10.15. The older versions of the two systems does not allow to share a folder, but not access to the shared content. There are however an exception to this, for the creator of the folder.

If you share a folder with iCloud Drive, you can always access them on all your Apple devices, even those that have not been updated. You’ll even see the content added by the people invited, and he would certainly information about the person who has shared or modified content, which is not very annoying. It is convenient, but again, it is limited only to the creator of the folder, the guests must absolutely have to have an updated system.