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Apple introduced iCloud to the world a couple of years ago, and since then has been introducing new ways for developers to utilize it. First was iCloud CoreData, which is meant to be a completely seamless way of persisting and syncing a object graph across devices. This suffered from all kinds of issues, and iOS8 introduces something which pretends to be much less in the form of CloudKit.
CloudKit offers very little magic in terms of data-syncing, and has no elements of local persistence. It is simply a remote database – a transport mechanism for storing data remotely. Having said that, you do get a huge amount of functionality from the API – including user management, huge storage and bandwidth capacities, security and privacy.
Today’s article is going to take a look at some of the features of CloudKit in reasonable detail. The framework is really big, so not every feature will be covered. There is a sample app to accompany the chapter – calledCloudNotes. This is a simple note taking app which uses CloudKit as a persistence layer. Although this app demonstrates CloudKit fairly well, it should not be taken as ‘best practice’ for creating a data-driven app in this way. For example, there is no facility for offline resilience. You can grab the source code of the app from the repo on the ShinobiControls github at github.com/ShinobiControls/iOS8-day-by-day.