The awesomeness of Apple’s iCloud

“iCloud is a suite of online cloud hosting and software tools available to anyone with an Apple ID,” Alex Spencer writes for Tuts+. “It is free, easy to set up, and practically a requirement for anyone that owns any iDevice. Yet, despite all of its awesomeness, iCloud remains severely underused.”

In this tutorial I will show you how to:

• Build a Numbers, Keynotes, or Pages document from any computer by only using your web browser
• Back up your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device wirelessly
• Use Back to My Mac to access your home or office Mac from any other Mac
• Use Find My iPhone to recover missing or stolen iDevices

Read more in the full article here.

28 Comments

      1. I loved iDisk, but Dropbox works great as well. It can be accessed by any computer, (not all my clients use Mac’s) and the free version fits the needs of many people including myself. iDisk was never free.

  1. I use it all the time, although I have no reason to actively interact with it at all. Which suits me fine. I rarely have need for Pages/Numbers/Keynote on a personal level, and I wouldn’t want to mix work stuff in.

      1. Not very easy to switch Apple ID’s on an iPhone or iPad. Since we have to use Windows for some applications that aren’t Mac and would cost us too much to do without, I run Windows in Parallels and use an old copy of Word 2003 which whilst still over complicated and bloated is good enough and I’m used to it. For work we use Dropbox synced across our 3 machines, and for the flexibility of handling all files, it’s worth paying a little bit for. I also use it to back up an old legacy DOS server to my home machine so it’s fine for us.

        Personally I’m fine with iCloud just running in the background without me needing to touch it.

  2. iCloud sucks. No file finder, no cross-platform support, questionable security, poor performance for large backups. It can never be any better/faster/more reliable than your internet connection at any given time.

    Sorry, putting a fancy name to a hobbled style of mainframe computing does not make it insanely great. At best, it’s a partial answer to people who don’t have the discipline to properly archive and back up all their data to a local drive/server. You would think Apple could do better on the home server/NAS front instead.

    1. @Mike. I think you’re trolling. I wouldn’t say it sucks. I agree it could use a finder. It would also be great if Numbers and Pages would be listed when searching from the iPad home screen.

      No cross platform support. Really? iCloud.com is more cross platform than any other service I can think of, even a Chrome net book can use it.

      Questionable security. As questionable as any security on the internet I guess. I have to believe Apple lives and breaths a higher standard than most. When the a hole was found in the developer site it was taken down within hours. I took some time to rebuild it bit the fact they took it down for that long is telling.

      Never better than your internet connection. Hmmm. You realize that documents are sync’d right? I can work at 30,000 feet with no connection. If you talking about back ups these should be done when connected to your home wifi.

    2. “iCloud doesn’t have any of my pet features. Therefore it sucks.”

      I think iCloud rules, just for how well it automatically syncs reminders, messages, calendars, and contacts without me having to do a thing. I have a Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad, and thanks to iCloud, they’re essentially three different-sized windows into the same consistent world.

      ——RM

      1. whatever… syncing is so inconsistent, one can’t trust it. and good luck supporting filetypes created on non-Apple machines. if all you do is sync your music and maybe a calendar across a couple personal devices, then fine, enjoy it and continue telling yourself that Apple “rules”. Someday when you work in a professional environment, you’ll want something more solid.

        1. Mike,

          “file types created on none-Apple”, WTF? The only machines I have those issues with are PC’s. Mac’s don’t need file extensions and what none Apple formats are you trying to use? PC? Unix? Oh, maybe Linux? If you use some stone age software only written for PC’s, that will work on Mac’s as well. Unix, ah yeah. Linux, really?! Serious glut’n for punishment.

          What “professional” environment do YOU work in? I used that term “professional” with a smirk. haha

          Go away troll!

          1. Perhaps you missed the memo, but Apple caved to the Windows kludge a long time ago and adopted file extensions instead of metadata to determine file associations. You can set the machine to not show the file extension, but it is there. And without a proper file finder, iCloud indeed sucks. Other consumer-oriented “cloud” services are so much more powerful and reliable and platform-independent.

        2. Okay, fine, it sucks for a certain number of professionals. But why those professionals would be relying on a cloud service that seems to be aimed entirely at consumers is beyond me.

          I stand by my earlier analysis of your complaint: “iCloud doesn’t provide the specific features I want, therefore it sucks.” Meanwhile it does the things it actually advertises very well.

          ——RM

  3. Yeah… iCloud is almost as much a mess as me.com was… Sycing works most of the time but not all the time… how photos shuffle from my iPhone to iCloud to my desktop is different every time it seem.. can’t store docs or other kinds of files there, so … I disagree with the author… it ain’t all that great.

  4. I discovered the hard way, that use of iCloud for a particular class of documents/files, means they no longer are on ones own computer storage disk/chips. If for any reason something goes wrong on the cloud, you’re screwed. If for any reason you lose Internet access, you’re screwed. There does not seem to be an option to duplicate, rather than replace, at-home-office storage.

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