5 ways Apple should improve iCloud

“A report claims Apple is combining its services teams within one campus at its first Cupertino campus as it strives to improve iCloud,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “It needs to. A Brand Keys report ranks the company last in the file storage category.”

“Baked inside every Apple product, Apple’s iCloud services offer a range of useful features, not least the ability to seamlessly share files across devices,” Evans writes. “It also saves device backups, image libraries and much more. Indeed, it does so much that it should be obvious to anybody that Apple’s free 5GB storage is inadequate, given how deeply connected its cloud storage system is to its products.”

“With Dropbox, Google, Box and others offering far more generous free storage capabilities, it seems self-evident that Apple should cut iCloud storage prices,” Evans writes. “But what else can it do to improve its service?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a sixth: On iCloud.com, Apple should add a tool where people can enter multiple Apple IDs and passwords and combine them into one.

22 Comments

  1. Mobile device backup should not be connected to iTunes. There is too much going on in iTunes and it’s a mess. Backups for devices don’t belong there. iTunes should be for music, and TV shows and Movies if it must (Should be called iMedia at this point). .Mac had a great backup app years ago THAT ONLY DID BACKUPS. Simplify—that’s what Steve Jobs stood for: SIMPLICITY, INTUITIVE USE! Time to go back to your roots.

    1. Have to agree that complexity drives people away.

      Marketing and Engineers inside Apple will propose new “Features” constantly. But a casual user can’t make sense of iTunes today or keep up with all the changes that seem to pop up.

      Most casual iPhone users don’t want complexity or they avoid the app or item.

      IPhones are hardly simple anymore. My wife has no clue what 90% of the settings in General tab do … or why.

    2. iTunes used to be my favorite and most used bit of software. All of my music interests were covered: radio, stored music, ripping, and burning. Now I will not go near it and when I have I can hardly figure it out. BLOATWARE.

  2. I’d like to know what Apple is doing with all of its data center resources. I keep hearing about Apple expanding its data centers but what are they using them for? I can’t get an accurate picture of how much storage Apple has compared to Alphabet, Amazon or Microsoft but at least those companies are using their storage to earn revenue and putting it to work for themselves and other companies. It’s like Apple is just hoarding its storage for itself.

    Why is Apple being so stingy with storage for Apple users? Apple supposedly spent about $5B on Apple Park. If it spent just half that amount on data centers they could probably catch up with those other companies in terms of storage. I honestly don’t understand Apple at all. Is the present storage only barely supporting Apple’s user base? What’s the point of building data centers and getting almost no use out of them?

    1. When you have more money than anyone on the planet, its only normal to spend more money than anyone on the planet for things that don’t work very well.

    2. Those other company’s, like Google, don’t sell hardware (not as much as apple at least) and make all their money off your data. Where you are going, hanging out, talking about, searching for, and even your photos (Google photos unlimited storage is paid for by privacy invasions).
      Apple isn’t hoarding, just keeping your data out of the hands of strangers.

      1. But Apple isn’t holding your data. Apple’s supply chain genius outsourced most iCloud functions to Amazon Google et al years ago. Apple offer no guarantee that your data is safe or private. And you know there are plenty of bad actors attempting to get in. The day will come when a breach occurs.

    3. I had the impression the Apple data centers were primarily media oriented storage for stuff Apple sold. (e.g. Apps, music, videos, ebooks) Everything else for iCloud was outside on AWS servers.

  3. I use iCloud for a few documents and a couple of apps. Otherwise I use Microsoft OneDrive for photos and everything else.

    I have to use Office after Apple dumbed down Pages and for the tiny monthly fee for Office365 I get 1TB of storage for no extra charge. Actually I get 1TB for every family member.

    And I can put things where I like. That’s important if you work on projects which might have PDF files, documents, spreadsheets, photos, old Adobe files. You can’t do this on iCloud – which is just stupid.

    Apple has become stupid. They give the impression that anyone who does any real work at Apple must be using Windows.

    Or they are outsourcing all the real work.

    ICloud is stupid. It deserves to be last.

    I’m not a Microsoft fan yet I find myself forced to use more and more of their stuff on my macs. And google stuff – and I hate google.

    It’s time to get rid of the accountant and put a sales guy in the job. A sales guy who actually uses a Mac to do real work.

    1. Microsoft Office indeed remains the premier suite of applications for many. There are many reasons for this.

      Note that you don’t have to subscribe to Office 365 to use OneDrive.

      Office for the Mac can be purchased as well — Microsoft offers both “Home & Student” as well as “Home & Business” versions. The H&B version costs $230, which is about the same as 18 months of renting Office 365 Business Premium.

      If you choose to purchase instead of renting your software, OneDrive is still offered — its a free signup and you download the OneDrive desktop app to use it. Of course, you don’t have to use Microsoft’s cloud either.

      While obviously Microsoft is also trying to sell subscriptions, at least customers also have purchase options and multiple tiers of Office suites for those who don’t need all the business features.

      It is sad to see Microsoft, of all companies, giving users options while Apple steadily loses the ability to offer competitive products.

  4. Another:

    Make syncing absolute, not relative. By this I mean that it should be entirely impossible for me to have Notes on my iOS devices that are not perfectly synced with Notes on my Mac. Sadly, Apple entirely f-ed that up. By simply installing a new user account and restoring from the old account, ALL my Notes were DUMPED. That’s a built-in blunder by Apple. I order for my pile of notes to match on iOS and macOS I have to rewrite them BY HAND into the device that doesn’t have them. That’s stupid sync.

    1. That’s not a bug. That’s a feature. Some notes stay on my iPad, some on my iPhone, some in iCloud. Each area is distinct and can have subfolders, between which notes can be copied, pasted, and moved. I think of the Notes app as a file system spanning multiple devices and nodes like iCloud and Exchange, with local device note access limited to itself as a form of security.

      1. I’m sorry dear friend but Apple provides two ways to use Notes at the same time:

        1) Locally on your device
        2) Synced everywhere.

        I’m complaining about their synced everywhere service NOT actually syncing everywhere all the time no matter what.

  5. Another:

    Provide full Time Machine incremental cloud backup. It eats cloud space! So make that cloud space cheaper as well. Apple should be providing full OFF LINE backup, making it entirely quick, easy and natural for ALL users.

    Result: Supreme security no matter what. Mac eaten by Ransomware? Don’t care. It’s all in the cloud. (And yeah, it takes forever to restore it all, but any one file is immediately available from the cloud.

    Why doesn’t Apple get simple, primary, basic concepts like this?

    FEED THE USER! Be fanatically user-friendly. Be insanely-great! Remember that concept Apple? Hmm?

  6. Another:

    Use your own servers Apple! You used to!

    The AWS (Amazon web service) outage last week points out that depending upon some third party to run iCloud servers is a BAD idea. Run them yourself and run them right! Have full redundancy that’s easily switched in when the front end servers crash/burn/corrupt/infect. I actually find it hard to imagine why Apple directly depends upon Amazon and Google servers to hold iCloud data. WTF? You’re a computer company! You can’t run your own cloud service servers?! Huh?!

    – – I think this all has something to do with the FAIL that became macOS Server. So how did THAT happen?

    1. Increasing their server farms could also be an opportunity for Apple to once again enter the Server HW arena by first creating the best to work for themselves and working out the bugs internally through actual use. The ‘perfected’ product could then be sold with the solid assurance that the HW worked to at least Apple’s standard of quality for its own use.

      As for why they outsource the iCloud servers, it seems as if the present day Apple wants to keep themselves as far as possible from actual maintenance and manufacturing of HW as possible to maximize profit. The current server farms are most likely a compromise to increase security of their media and SW ‘wares’. With all the energy server farms consume and the heat they produce I’m sure having few of them also helps lower the company’s personal carbon footprint.

  7. Regarding the MDN take, I completely agree. I still have an Apple ID from an old AT&T email I had years ago when I first got an iPhone. Later, I bought MobileMe which was the precursor to iCloud which gave me a me.com address which remains my Apple ID today. However, during that transition, I had bought music and movies under the AT&T apple ID and under the me.com Apple ID. I realized later I had duplicates. I don’t buy content from Apple any more except the occasional app but it’s things like the Apple ID total confusion when iCloud came along that keep me from doing much more than using the Photo Stream and backing up. Being able to merge accounts would be extremely helpful to those of us who tried the Apple train through its many evolutions.

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