In defense of Apple’s iCloud

“You can’t analyze the industry as I do and not evaluate platform specific strategies to meet consumer needs. I study closely the platforms, ecosystems, and cloud services strategies of many companies,” Ben Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “Right now the discussion is focused on Google and Apple for good reason. Google’s solution, similar to Microsoft’s, is hardware agnostic. Meaning the solutions can run on any hardware that allows it. Apple is unique in that many of their software and services solutions are available only to Apple hardware. Apple’s approach is rare, and rare is usually valuable, unless you work on Wall St.”

“Apple’s services strategy with iCloud has taken a beating from the media the past few months. Some of the criticisms are fair. One of Apple’s biggest challenges is to compete with other platform providers on cloud services and I think many of us agree Apple is not there yet,” Bajarin writes. “But, keep in mind Apple is an aspiring services company and I am confident they will get it right eventually. It just may take a little time, and the way market adoption cycles work, they do have time.”

Bajarin writes, “That being said, there is a cloud service that Apple provides that I think does not get enough attention. This feature happens to be one I personally find extremely useful. It is synchronization.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
There are really two iClouds; one works, the other doesn’t – March 28, 2013
Apple’s broken promise: Why doesn’t iCloud ‘just work’? – March 27, 2013
Apple’s iCloud dominates U.S. cloud storage market with 27% market share – March 22, 2013
Dropbox CEO criticizes iCloud’s ‘bizarre limitations’ – March 4, 2013
Apple launches comprehensive System Status page covering Services, Stores and iCloud – December 14, 2012


    1. Sigh! Reading the responses below leads me to think that I should deliver my subtlety with a mallet!
      Do I need to explain that Apple’s cloud has a plethora of goodies yet to come?
      Am I to declare that when you see Apple’s cloud that it is time to sow and when it showers it is time to weed?
      Or should I just issue an edict that everyone should carry an umbrella in case you get thunderstorms like you do in dropbox and when the thunderstorms has passed away, so have the files that you were invited to see or listen to but you couldn’t because you were so busy avoiding the rain under your umberella, hey! hey! hey hey hey! under my umberella…. (Mallet time) the latter refers to a song by a certain musician/popstar?

  1. iCloud is an excellent cloud implementation. Instead of storing things in the cloud and requiring devices to have access to the Internet to use it, iCloud pushes the data to the device. It means I have my document with me, then it’ll update when I get network access. So, I’m not stuck without my data when I’m in between towers. It may not be perfect, but it is the best out there in my opinion.

    1. In principle, that is how iCloud should work. Data should be pushed to the devices. This works, in my experience, really well with Photostream. And it works really well with pushing out calendar, contacts, and reminders updates. I have found it does not work as well with files.

      Here’s an example I have replicated scores of times. I complete a keynote presentation on my MacBook Pro in preparation for a lecture. I save the Keynote file to iCloud. My iPad is connected to a high speed LTE network or wifi almost all the time. So is my iPhone. However, the Keynote file does not push automatically to the iOS devices unless I first open Keynote on each. Then the file is pulled from iCloud.

      My understanding is that it is supposed to push out to all the iCloud connected devices. In reality, it hasn’t happened for me. I have forgotten to complete that second step on occasion, only to be airborne and discover that file I uploaded to iCloud 24 hours earlier never made it onto my iOS device.

      Admittedly, Dropbox for iOS has the same issue.

      1. Admittedly, that behavior can bite you. What I do is this. Open my ipad, which is my ONLY iDevice without cellular data, to the iWork app I’m working on with my Mac. Since the app is open, the files sync almost immediately and dynamically as I work the Mac. You don’t have this problem if you have cellular data on your iDevice, so issue is only limited to wifi only devices.

    1. When you are used to something, it is hard to move on to a new way of doing things. Of course you are aware that the internet is not arranged in a file system and yet you can find what you want fairly easily. The new paradigm is to throw everything into a ‘box’ (the internet or cloud) and use a search feature to find it. Try it with spotlight.

  2. iCloud is the biggest and most sophisticated cloud despite that it does not have the grease monkey under the hood fine grained control that PC tinkerers and systems integrators crave like Brawndo. It just works – my music collection is finally on all my devices and in every room and everywhere I go. It is so EASY as pie to use that I don’t even know I’m on iCloud – hey what’s that cloud… hey hey you you get off of my cloud.

  3. For productive work, there is no acceptable defense of a 3rd-party “cloud”. They all suck. Of course, that’s not stopping the pushers from trying to get short-term-thinking beancounters to get hooked on subscription-based computing.

    Apple, you may recall from the “1984” commercial, proudly touted the personal computer as a tool that allowed a user to cut the umbilical to the mainframe “big brother”. Now every major software company is trying its hardest to BE “big brother”, including Apple. The only thing that makes Apple any better than Google or Microsoft in this regard is that it is clear that the iCloud is only useful for downloading and syncing media purchases.

    I wish Cook would spend more time developing and expanding the Apple universe for productive work. The fact that he has made practically no attempt to claw back market share from the Wintel camp is pathetic.

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