updated 12:31 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Developers, testers must use beta 5 or later to continue testing new features
In something of an unusual move, Apple has sent emails to developers informing them that they must keep up to date with iOS 8 and Yosemite betas if they want to continue testing new features, particularly the CloudKit functionality that is part of the forthcoming iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library and MailDrop technologies. The change, which could be due to a change in iCloud sandboxing, will also impact Safari histories and call histories. Developers must be on Beta 5 of either platform in order to continue working with CloudKit.
Apple has had to wipe data stored in CloudKit a couple of times as it finalizes the technology, which will bring the aforementioned features to the Mac and iOS devices and makes them more integral to the iCloud experience. The optional iCloud Photo Library promises to offer a place where one can store all of the typical user's photos and videos, even if they shoot in RAW format.
MailDrop recreates one of the most popular features of cloud storage services like Dropbox in allowing an effortless way to share files too large to email normally, automatically replacing large files in emails with a single-click web download link. The new iCloud Drive will allow users to store any type of file and have it available in a Mac-native way across computer and mobile platforms.
The requirement to stop testing with older betas could be a signal that the testing effort is in the final stages, though there are still a number of significant bugs in both OS X 10.10 Yosemite and in iOS 8 that are being worked on. While the next iPhone, which will presumably ship with iOS 8 on board, is expected to be announced on September 9, the company will have to scramble to have it in shape in time. It is entirely possible that iOS 8 will be available shortly after the iPhone 6 begins to ship in quantity.