Thursday, June 8, 2023

iCloud Drive Now Supports File Versions

Howard Oakley:

In almost all cases, ‘cloning’ a volume also loses all versions in the Document Revisions database, unless the method of duplication creates an absolutely identical copy, with the same inodes and file system.

iCloud is more complicated. There was a time when it didn’t support versions at all, then it started to support them but had some serious bugs making them unreliable. Those have been gradually resolved, and iCloud Drive now effectively keeps its own Document Revisions database, making versions available to all Macs and devices accessing them.


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I would hesitate to call this true file version support. It only supports revisions of documents that make use of the document revision features of macOS. Contrast this with true file versioning in Dropbox/OneDrive/Google Drive in which any modification of any file in the storage directory creates a new version of that file.

Not in a million years would I trust iCloud not to screw something up here eventually.

Beatrix Willius

Has anyone ever used document versioning from macOS?

@Beatrix Willius: I’ve used ‘File’ > ‘Revert To’ many times in Logic Pro. It’s useful when I’ve inadvertently messed up the project: I find it easier to recall an earlier known good version rather than try to manually revert a series of changes I’ve made via the GUI. I’ve also used it in Preview.

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