Apple’s iCloud is the difference between great and excellent

“Apple knows how important iCloud is to the success of iOS and OS X,” Ben Brooks writes for The Brooks Review.

“It’s hard to disagree with the notion that a large part of [Apple’s] ’just works’ ideology is: seamless integration of hardware and software. That’s easy with laptops, that’s easy with mobile, but it’s hard if you want the seamless integration between two different (or same for that matter) devices. This is why most of us nerds love Dropbox sync, because Dropbox makes it easier to work on two Macs in a back and forth scenario. This is what iCloud is trying to solve between not only Macs, but Macs and iOS,” Brooks writes. “This is why iCloud success is crucial to Apple.”

Brooks writes, “I would be surprised if iCloud wasn’t a very large part of WWDC this year. Apple will be putting the finishing touches on iCloud’s integration with iOS and Mac OS X, but they will also need developers to give widespread adoption to its use for the service to catch on. This should scare Microsoft and Google, but more than that I think it should scare Dropbox. As much as I love Dropbox, iCloud is easier. A widely adopted, seamless, fast, robust iCloud is the greatest threat to Apple’s competitors — and this time around I think Apple knows it.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
OS X Mountain Lion could see WWDC release as Apple prepares staff – May 10, 2012
Apple WWDC 2012: Steve Jobs tribute, iOS 6, iCloud, OS X Mountain Lion and Macs – April 26, 2012
Apple’s WWDC 2012 to kick June 11 in San Francisco; tickets now available – April 25, 2012


  1. Parts of iCloud work well. I have personally found mail to still be rather flakey, but I’m starting to blame Apple’s mail program and not the service because since using Sparrow I don’t seem to have problems anymore.

    iCloud is essentially a group of services that allow your devices to stay in sync with one another, without complex syncing efforts.

    iCloud downloads give you the ability to purchase music, books, movies, tv shows, magazines, and apps. This works very well but many people have network problems when downloading large (read HD) content. I’ve found issues between the CDN and different settings on different cable modems that seem to fix this.

    iCloud Backup… Not using it.
    Photo Stream… Not using it.

    Documents. This is a biggie for me and for all intents and purposes it doesn’t exist. It’s terribly limited, and due to their efforts to make it a no-brainer, they’ve made it a no-user. Getting stuff from Apple’s own iWorks into and out of documents is extremely clumsy at best. In comparison offerings from Dropbox, SpiderOak,, Google Drive, Skydrive, Amazon S3, are far, far easier to use. Because moving stuff into and out of iWorks is so clumsy I’ve starting using Pages and Numbers less.

    Contacts – works great
    calendar – works great

    Back to my Mac… don’t use it because I keep all of my important and working files in Dropbox.

    Find My iWhatever… haven’t used it but damn happy it’s there. Every time I demo it, it’s been great.

    Oh… and Safari bookmarks/reading list. Love it. Keeps me from moving to another browser no matter how buggy Safari is.

    1. I should make it clear that Documents doesn’t try to compete with things like Dropbox. Documents is trying to provide a new way to manage objects that belong to apps that cross devices. I understand the idea. I just still prefer to manage documents and tell them where to be opened and closed.

      And with iWorks, if I want to get at a document that I’ve somehow managed to get into iCloud Documents, I have to go find it with my browser first? Klunky.

    2. iCloud is a step down from MobileMe. Mail, contacts and Calendar work well for me but I agree that Documents is worthless and have completely switched to DropBox (paid account).

      Because of “Documents” (and autosave/versions) I have completely quit using Keynote and Pages. I previously used Keynote exclusively but am now back to Powerpoint.

      I do use Back to My Mac when traveling, but again, that worked well in MobileMe.
      Photostream is still buggy in my view and behaves strangely with photos out of sequence and some other odd behaviors.

      Much preferred MobileMe on the whole.

      1. I think you’ve jumped the gun on all fronts. MobileMe was never at any point better than iCloud. Aside from a few features like iDisk, which was slow and clunky, Galleries, admittedly I miss but have a feeling that iCloud will best that, and hosting, which was unnecessary, iCloud is stable, fast, and nearly without any hitches.

        I’m not sure how anyone could switch to PowerPoint after using Keynote. I can’t even get into that. And the autosave and versioning of other Apps is phenomenal. I also just can’t see how those features would switch someone to another applications. Document sync will be super easy in Mountain Lion; we’re just waiting for OS X to catch up with iOS. I, personally, find that normal as technology can’t happen in perfect synchronization.

    3. I used find my iPhone last week to recover a stolen iPad. It was FANTASTIC. We went with the police to the location 25 mi. from where it was stolen. About 2 am No one was home, and the police couldn’t see it through the window, so I made it beep and then they just had to wait until the thieves got home or until they could get a warrant at 6. By 4:30 am we were headed home with our iPad unmolested!! Awesome!!

  2. Off the point but I need some iPhone help. Is there a little snitch type app I could put on the iPhone? My phone keeps sending tons of data (AT&T) when I’m sleeping. Up to 4-5 gigs in a month. On the bill it states data to “phone” and AT&T won’t tell me who or what because of “Data Privacy.”

      1. I’ve got an AT&T app that tracks usage and they send text about usage. What I need to find out is who or what the phone is calling and sending information too. I’ve started shutting the phone off at night, I have cellular data shut off and keep the iPhone on wi-fi at all times. I have a nice looking dumb phone.

        1. Because of the sandboxed nature of iOS apps, you won’t have a universal app that tells you specifically how much each app you have open is consuming bandwidth, as each app’s API is closed off from another app. Only Apple has internal API callouts and are permitted to implement them.

          So what you will have are apps that tell you the global consumption at any one time. By selectively opening one app per night and watching overnight consumption you will have a rough idea of each app’s consumption activity.

          I’m afraid there’s no better way than a trial and error approach.

          P.S. The first thing I would do is turn off the porn torrenting you have happening in the background….(j/k)….

    1. Let me get this right:

      Your Phone, Your Cellular Contract, Your Bill.
      Said device under said terms is consuming GIGABYTES of data, while you are sleeping.

      AT&T cites “privacy” as a resin not to assist you?

      Who’s freaking privacy are they protecting? Personally, I would lawyer up. I find that to be outrageous…

      But back to the issue, you are sure it is a night? HOW? iCloud perhaps?

  3. I think Apple’s attempts to add a social dimension to iCloud for the forthcoming WWDC 2012 is a complete joke. Who the hell wants to share photos and videos through iCloud with friends when there are other better services available like Facebook and Flickr. It’s just enormously stupid and shows Tim Cook’s lack of focus on productivity issues that plague iCloud. Yes, let’s follow the Facebook path to stupiddom, that should help Apple’s image. What the hell?!

    iCloud should at minimum add functionality to retrieve, edit and upload documents from my Mac to the cloud and not have to log into to fetch a copy of the document, then upload again to the cloud, more often than not changing editing attributes, and increasing file size 2X.

    Apple, you’ve fallen asleep at the wheel with the lousy unchanged iPhone 4S. Now with the lousy collaborative tools in iCloud, you’ve turned yourself into a giggling social network focused teen.

  4. Actually, iCloud and Dropbox are entirely different products. iCloud document syncing is a one-way street. iCloud may be easier to use, but Dropbox is far more flexible if you want to move files back and forth between Macs and mobile devices.

    1. How is iCloud Documents easier than Dropbox??
      ‘Maybe’ on the iPad for Keynote and Pages but then to get it onto the Mac is nonintuitive. Dropbox is very easy and versatile and accessible on the iPad and iPhone as well. iDisk was intuitive as well… but iCloud is just worthless.

  5. iCloud was already a major part of WWDC last year. Apple wants developers to support it, so it will be a major part of WWDC this year, too.


  6. iCloud backup is my new hero.

    My iPhone freaked out on me during a recent software update and I had to do a restore. I was very worried as I had video on it of my fourth child being born back in March and I hadn’t done a physical sync with a MacBook in LOOONG time. So I restored from iCloud and * poof * overnight all of my precious photos and videos came back along with all of my other stuff.


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