updated 05:53 pm EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Will delete photos, videos stored in iCloud Photo Library, email attachments, more
Apple has informed developers testing both of the forthcoming Apple platform releases, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that it will again delete content stored on the CloudKit database serving both platforms tomorrow, July 22. Although details were not listed this time, the effect is expected to be the same as the previous "wipe" of the database, which took place on July 7. Anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features will see their cloud-stored data destroyed.
The wiping procedure, presuming it follows the same pattern as before, does allow for restoration of some of the material to be deleted. Photos and videos stored locally on iOS 8-running devices is not affected and can be re-uploaded after the server-side erasure, and the same holds true for documents mirrored locally and stored in iCloud Drive. If the procedure goes as last time, the iCloud Drive 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 22 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 pricing for iCloud Drive, others
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.