Syncing iCloud to Dropbox

“Mac and iOS users are going to be increasingly pushed to choose between storing their documents in iCloud or Dropbox,” TJ Luoma writes for TUAW. “I expect that Apple will continue to push more and more features to iCloud that will make people want to use it, and I expect that Apple will continue to make iCloud easier and easier for iOS and Mac developers to use, so developers will want to support it.”

“I like the idea behind iCloud, but I don’t really trust iCloud yet,” Luoma writes. “In the meantime, I know Dropbox, and I trust Dropbox.”

Luoma reports, “The good news is that you can sync iCloud to Dropbox. The bad news is that it’s a one-way sync from iCloud to Dropbox. But if all you want to do is backup iCloud files and be able to retrieve previous versions from Dropbox, it’s pretty simple to do.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I actually keep my documents on Dropbox and have SpiderOak backup my Dropbox throughout the day. Heh. Cloud backing up cloud. ICloud documents just isn’t robust enough for me. In fact, iCloud documents is downright clumsy. I use many of the other services offered by iCloud on a daily basis though.

  2. What the heck for? It’ll be like exchanging an AK-47 for an M-16. You could fire rounds from it but you’ll be degrading performance.

    Trust me iCloud works fine. It’s more reliable than Dropbox and much, much easier to use as it works in the background without a thought or input from the user.

    The fact that this idiot doesn’t trust iCloud just goes to show what a clod he is.

        1. What do you do for a living? You must have an IQ around 70. Always with the commie nonsense.

          You are spouting quadrupedal, ruminant mammel propoganda, you ignorant sheep..

          1. What do you do for a living? Food stamps, perhaps?

            Horshack spews liberal hate all over this site and then accuses BLN of being evil.

            Up yours McCommie!

      1. Not well liked are you Arnold – just advice..

        Best comment on the article and stand firm on your opinions rather then splatter abrasive words to evoke further arguments.

        I can’t see my ass mapped on google either nor my left ball for that matter… your point is?

    1. I never think about Dropbox. It just works. I put a file in the folder and it’s instantly available on all my Macs and my iOS devices. No developer involvement required. The only time I think about Dropbox is when I wish that iCloud worked similarly for documents. Dropbox has never failed for me. The ability to create shared folders for associate is fantastic on Dropbox. ICloud is much more limited.

      With iCloud you have to have matching apps that use the designated iCloud space. That’s precious few, including and especially iWork. With Dropbox, the whole thing just behaves like a normal OS X folder that happens to be available on your iOS devices. Much cleaner.

      1. The problem with Dropbox starts as soon as you have to “put file in the folder”, because most of normal people could not care less about that the “folder” is, and how you are supposed to “put” the “file” in it.

        Apple’s way is about getting rid of concepts that are not that intuitive.

    2. iCloud works great for Apple and some Office documents, but Dropbox works for *everything*. That’s the big difference for me – and everyone. I can only imagine what iCloud would be like right now if Apple *had* managed to acquire Dropbox… Still, I have faith that Apple’s solution will gain more and more functionality over the next few years.

        1. I’m sorry, I should have been clearer in my last comment.

          For Apple to admit that a file system is a viable method for storing documents in iOS, it will have to allow file organization of iWork documents in the form of folders, and sub-folders by way of a hierarchical system. This would run counter to Apple’s thinking that removal of a file system (or at least hiding it from the user’s gaze) promotes user experience, at least according to the iOS creed.

      1. Oh, I see what you’re saying. You don’t have to create a new file system, just let iWork import and export to Dropbox.. I can, from the Dropbox app, just open an iWork document in the appropriate iWork app, just not go back.

        I just thought of a way to do it though. Kinda Rube Goldberg involving AppleScript, but it will be invisible for the most part. Thanks!

  3. I use iCloud, but my employer is in Windows-centric mode, and I have the occasional need to share files with others who are using Windows. As long as Dropbox has a greater level of cross-platform functionality, it will remain my tool of choice for those purposes.

    Of course, if something markedly better comes along, I’d consider switching.

    1. @NewOptions,

      You’re right that iCloud will have better document handling in Mountain Lion but, based on Apple’s description, it will still be FAR inferior to Dropbox and other services for: 1) storing documents where the developer didn’t hook in to the iCloud API (e.g., so far, MS Word), and; 2) COLLABORATING or SHARING documents with others. Hopefully, both of these areas will be addressed by Apple by summer. For example, I’m hoping the new version of iWork is timed for release with Mountain Lion and includes powerful collaboration features (i.e., what seemed destined to become, but never did).

    2. Agreed… with Janice.

      POINT 2, collaboration and sharing files with others and not as described, “So when you add, delete, or edit something on your Mac, it happens on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. And vice versa.”

      What types of files do you wish to share?

      Minus does it well.

    1. What Dropbox does NOT do is allow client side encryption. Therefore, blunders like Dropbox letting everyone freely log into your account, OR Constitution busting loons from our Corporate Oligarchy run ‘government’ asking Dropbox to show them all your files, leave you publicly on view.

      THE SOLUTION: Create an encrypted SparseImage file using Apple’s Disk Utility that you keep inside your DropBox. Have the SpareImage file open every time you log into your client account on your Mac. It only opens when you provide its password. NO ONE can open it, thanks to 256 bit encryption, except you as long as you use a nasty password. There are lots of tutorials on the net about how to set up and use SparseImage files.

      Result: Store whatever you like in your SpareImage directory, it automatically is updated in Dropbox, and only YOU have access, ha ha ha.

  4. There’s is no technical reason iDisk could not have been rolled into iCloud other than Apple wanted it gone. iDisk gave users the freedom to store and share *any* file (legally or not) without restriction. Recent legal cases (Google, MegaUpload) are beginning to assert the host is responsible for the content, possibly putting Apple in an ethical bind between acting as Big Brother or getting sued. Also, Apple’s new media partners did’t like them offering an easy drag and drop way to share files … so it’s gone. Forever.

  5. So in other words, it doesn’t sync to Dropbox. Syncing is a two-way function. If the “bad news is that it’s a one-way sync from iCloud to Dropbox,” then it isn’t syncing. Sync is short for synchronize.

  6. Apple & internet is quite a dichotomy.

    i live & breathe Apple. it’s my mistress.
    simply because there’s nothing better, overall, out there.

    however, the internet, Sir Berners-Lee created on Steve Jobs’ NeXT in 1991 Aug 6. fine, it’s Applesque tech.

    ok, it u.s. dept. of defense created Arpanet 1969 as the 1st internet but W3 was the 1st web.

    the pre-Web was invented by France’s PTT: Minitel 1982; feb 2009 still 10M users! France Telecom will retire it 2012 June 30!

    back to Apple.
    Apple web attempt 1:
    they tried to do a better job than 1991’s AOL with eWorld
    1994 jun; it flopped by mar 1996

    Apple web attempt 2:
    launch 2001-01-05

    Apple web attempt 3:
    launch 2002-07-17
    its best try, but sooo slow

    Apple web attempt 4:
    launch same time as iPhone2: 2008 jul 9
    not speedier than .Mac

    Apple web attempt 5:
    2011-06-06 developer release
    2011-10-12 public
    no drive! no web site…

    all of Apple’s 5 attempts have been ok
    but not stellar
    launching with problems
    always suffering in speed
    iCloud might be 1st speedy one for Apple

    but i don’t get it.
    Apple always suffers from 100% practicality with their web solutions

    iCloud is ubiquitous, autonomous, seemless etc.
    but inflexible

    so they replace the extremely slow .Mac
    with less flexible MobileMe
    and now even less flexible iCloud

    maybe Apple is planning DropBox-like flexibility
    but they had it!
    why get rid of the power user’s Drive?
    now even Microdough has it with SkyDrive
    even Google has it with Google Drive
    but none of the 2, not even darling DropBox lets you choose your own sync drive – they all force you to choose theirs and it can not stupidly enough be an external drive!

    not all of us are immature teens chatting or wasting time or listening to music or watching videos or playing games all day. some of us work. write books. develop apps. we need more than iMacs or laptops or iPads or iPhones.
    for peeps sake.
    if MacPros die, we die. our livelihoods.
    our passion – which was Apple’s original mojo they can’t lose.

    only SugarSync allows that flexible power!

    so, maybe Apple planned a future release of iCloud to do so.
    but they already developed that tech in older “clouds”.
    they’re letting their power users down,
    just as with the Mac Pro de-volution.
    (see MacPro FB petition page!

    please Apple, get this eWorld/iWorld stuff right this time!
    you had plenty of chances.
    you are uniquely positioned.
    you control software & hardware.
    you own the biggest national data center.
    you have the brains, browns, funds.
    just do it.
    don’t just think different.

    there’s increasing competition in the Cloud biz.
    you have a huge advantage.
    don’t mess it.

    – Apple invented the popular PC 1984
    – Microsoft dominated the market due to whoring it since but not since 1992 when they started to fall asleep at the helm of the internet & self-destructed ever since.
    – web 1.0 was Google / Yahoo
    – web 2.0 was social i.e. Facebook
    but no tech co ever crossed over or survived historically, none reigned in the NeXT era
    – so far only Apple comes close as they rose like the only phoenix from 1996 ashes & were clever enough to foresee the mobile world through iPhone in 2007
    – however, Apple’s iTunes Ping 2010-09-01 flopped too, so with iCloud expansion Apple really needs to watch out the Mobile/Social/Cloud era beyond the iPhone, to fully succeed & sustain itself etc.
    Haptic Touch, 3D no-touch, iWallet etc. will not help it grasp the total Mobility…

    i breathe Apple now, i hope i breathe that clean air in the future too
    Apple defied gravity, is recession-proof, reinvented at least 6 industries, when everyone else never did even 2, if any, so Apple deserves it more than anyone, for always moving their ass, never being lazy, coming, seeing, conquering like the iCaesar that they are, Steve Jobs or not.

    still, please Apple!!:
    1. right Cloud, not just iCloud
    2. MacPro


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