Welcome to the second of a three-part series on iOS 8, where we will dive into the world of CloudKit. (We introduced you to HealthKit in an earlier article.)

With CloudKit, Apple’s answer to Dropbox, Parse and other cloud-based solutions, the developer does not have to deal with server-side application logic and can instead focus on client-side development. CloudKit exposes the standard cloud interfaces of authentication, public databases and asset storage. Most importantly, it’s free, with generous bandwidth and storage limits--10TB of database storage and 1PB of asset storage. (For storage above and beyond, refer to Apple’s pricing chart.)

Benefits of Product/Service to Developer, Customer

While there is no shortage of third-party options out there, and Apple has come to the party quite late, the company brings to the table a really strong and secure solution package that distinguishes between public and private data, with the latter not visible to anyone other than the client. If you plan to release an iOS-only app, Apple’s CloudKit is certainly worth looking at. And, even if you decide to move on to hosting your own server-side solution, making available an initial product through CloudKit is a good way to go.

CloudKit is also very simple to use. You can get started simply by registering in the iOS Developer Program. You don’t need to install any third-party frameworks, and can trust in the consistency and clout Apple has in maintaining its data servers. Further, users who are logged into iCloud on their devices are already logged into CloudKit, so you don’t even have to bother with fancy login and registration screens, providing a seamless experience.

To view the rest of my article, on getting started with iCloudKit in 20 minutes, you can read it on my column  exclusively at ProgrammableWeb