updated 10:00 pm EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
July 7 purge will affect testers of iOS 8, Yosemite beta builds
Apple has notified developers testing the latest iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite betas that it will have to erase the content of all CloudKit databases on July 7, both public and private. While the move will not affect most users, anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features of either iOS 8 or OS X 10.10 Yosemite will see any data store there wiped. Photos and videos stored on iOS 8-running devices will be preserved, and re-uploaded after the server-side erasure.
The same holds true for documents mirrored locally and stored in iCloud Drive. The feature will need to be manually re-enabled via the Setup Assistant, but documents will be automatically re-uploaded to to iCloud Drive once the wipe and restore is complete. Email attachments sent through Mail Drop, however, will expire. Messages with attachments that used Mail Drop and were not received by July 7 will need to be re-sent.
The features are part of the changes coming in both platforms, with updates expected to come this fall. The iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library will optionally let users store as much data as they want on iCloud, with modest costs for additional storage beyond the 5GB provided free for all iCloud users. Under the announced plan, users can access 20GB of storage for photos, videos (even RAW images or HD videos) and documents for $1 per month. The next tier beyond that -- at least as far as what been announced -- is a 200GB tier for $4 per month.
Comparison of annual storage rates
Mail Drop is another forthcoming feature that relies on iCloud storage as well. It allows users to email files as large as 5GB to others, who automatically receive a URL where they can download the large attachment rather than the attachment itself. This prevents users from sending files that are too large for the recipients' mailbox or ISP limitations, and the attachment is encrypted from end-to-end for better user privacy.
The need to "restart" the services may indicate that Apple is nearly ready to commence public testing of the features through its previously-announced Beta Seed Program.