Is iCloud a big deal?

  • Posted: 04 December 2011 09:28 PM

    I was so excited about iCloud and I wanted to be impressed, mostly because iCloud seemed to offer the prospect of disconnecting or untethering the iPad and iPhone from the Mac (or PC). But iCloud to date does not really seemed designed to accomplish this, at least not in a complete sense.

    An Apple representative told me by phone that iCloud basically is not a good solution for backing up all the media (photos, movies) on my iPhone or iPad, and that I really should back those things up to the Mac/PC, and then Time Machine.

    Hopefully we will be able to back up iPhone and iPad directly to Time Machine in the future, or some other solution that doesn’t requiring physically tethering the devices to a Mac or PC.

    I’m not saying there aren’t some cool features to iCloud (photo streaming, app settings syncing, app data syncing and backup, match) but its promise seems to be somewhat unrealized at this point. Also, it frankly is just a bit confusing to understand how it works (what gets backed up or not, when/whether to sync with Mac/PC, etc.).

    I worry that the appeal of stand-alone devices synced and backed up via the cloud has not yet been fulfilled. I’m sure it will be over time, but I wonder how long that will take. This could have been a huge catalyst to bring new customers to Apple, but as it is it might not drive the tidal wave I was looking for.

    Am I looking at this the wrong way?

         
  • Posted: 04 December 2011 09:32 PM #1

    One more thing. In a post on a separate thread, I mentioned my research on the Kindle Fire (I purchased one and have been using it for a couple weeks). The cloud storage functionality was completely obvious and easy to use. I hate to say that it actually felt a lot better than the Apple version from a user experience perspective, although I realize Apple is taking on a lot more with its functionality/capabilities.

         
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    Posted: 05 December 2011 04:52 AM #2

    [This post was removed because the moderators arbitrarily censor.]

    [ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:08 AM by the_dragonfly ]

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    Posted: 05 December 2011 11:13 AM #3

    the_dragonfly - 05 December 2011 08:52 AM

    Cloud services are not core apple strengths. iCloud is good because it helps build lock in, but it is very much first generation.

    First Gen?

    Hardly.

    Remember MOBILE ME?

    They have been “doing cloud” ... BADLY ... now for quite a few years.

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  • Posted: 05 December 2011 12:13 PM #4

    TanToday - 05 December 2011 03:13 PM
    the_dragonfly - 05 December 2011 08:52 AM

    Cloud services are not core apple strengths. iCloud is good because it helps build lock in, but it is very much first generation.

    First Gen?

    Hardly.

    Remember MOBILE ME?

    They have been “doing cloud” ... BADLY ... now for quite a few years.

    +1 VERY badly.

         
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    Posted: 05 December 2011 12:34 PM #5

    TanToday - 05 December 2011 03:13 PM
    the_dragonfly - 05 December 2011 08:52 AM

    Cloud services are not core apple strengths. iCloud is good because it helps build lock in, but it is very much first generation.

    First Gen?

    Hardly.

    Remember MOBILE ME?

    They have been “doing cloud” ... BADLY ... now for quite a few years.

    Different leaders and teams. Late SJ has removed ex-MobileMe leader and most of its team members.  Eddy Cue is now personally overseeing the iCloud effort.  iCloud is designed as a sync mechanism and not a storage locker.  Apple kind of expect you not to backup personal and self-created documents to cloud but to time machine.  iCloud may temporary stores such documents for syncing to your various devices.  iCloud is for media that Apple haves so it can keep “one” (plus some redundancy) copy and utilizes indexes for our copies.

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    Posted: 05 December 2011 01:38 PM #6

    Mace - 05 December 2011 04:34 PM
    TanToday - 05 December 2011 03:13 PM
    the_dragonfly - 05 December 2011 08:52 AM

    Cloud services are not core apple strengths. iCloud is good because it helps build lock in, but it is very much first generation.

    First Gen?

    Hardly.

    Remember MOBILE ME?

    They have been “doing cloud” ... BADLY ... now for quite a few years.

    Different leaders and teams. Late SJ has removed ex-MobileMe leader and most of its team members.  Eddy Cue is now personally overseeing the iCloud effort.  iCloud is designed as a sync mechanism and not a storage locker.  Apple kind of expect you not to backup personal and self-created documents to cloud but to time machine.  iCloud may temporary stores such documents for syncing to your various devices.  iCloud is for media that Apple haves so it can keep “one” (plus some redundancy) copy and utilizes indexes for our copies.

    Spot on Mace.  As it stands, iCloud might be underwhelming to some because what it does is so transparent.

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    Posted: 05 December 2011 02:07 PM #7

    iCloud is fine as far as it goes, but IMO they dropped too many services to get there. As it stands now while iCloud is intriguing I’m more concerned with finding someone else to host my web site and e-mail, to be my DropBox, and such. Even if iCloud does what it does well, it’s not what I need for the time being.

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  • Posted: 05 December 2011 02:24 PM #8

    geoduck - 05 December 2011 06:07 PM

    iCloud is fine as far as it goes, but IMO they dropped too many services to get there. As it stands now while iCloud is intriguing I’m more concerned with finding someone else to host my web site and e-mail, to be my DropBox, and such. Even if iCloud does what it does well, it’s not what I need for the time being.

    That should not be much a problem for you since there are lots of free good quality services offering web hosting, e-mail and drop box.

    It would not add much if iCloud offered such services.

         
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    Posted: 05 December 2011 03:56 PM #9

    That should not be much a problem for you since there are lots of free good quality services offering web hosting, e-mail and drop box.

    It would not add much if iCloud offered such services.

    Yes there are. However it also would not have cost Apple much to continue these services. Not with the big data centres they have. There’s a fairly large contingent of existing long time MM/iTools users that are feeling more than a little betrayed by this. Rather than exploring iCloud we’re left with a few months of work retooling our sites for another carrior. The question on the front page was “Is Apple Getting iCloud Right?” I have to say no because they are alianating a large number of loyal customers when they didn’t have to.

    [ Edited: 05 December 2011 06:04 PM by geoduck ]

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  • Posted: 05 December 2011 05:42 PM #10

    Along those lines of missing services. I feel what’s missing most is a mid-point for the cloud. I do not like having to go through the Internet and back just to sync one iWorks file between my iPod, iPad, and my Mac. This level of file share should be done at the local network level.

    Ditto goes for other program data. The recently released Infinity Blade 2 comes to mind as an App that should be able to pass saved game data back and forth between my iOS devices on my local network without having to either use iCloud (which it doesn’t) or having to extract that data with a 3rd party utility.

    What I think Apple is getting wrong goes beyond the Cloud but is inherent with them moving away from central home Mac as the focal point. Cloud is great… when you have Internet. The US is not wired up like South Korea. As it stands I have virtual 0 use for iCloud.


    Vote:  Apple is doing iCloud Worng.

         
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    Posted: 05 December 2011 08:08 PM #11

    I agree that Apple is getting iCloud wrong. Mobile Me has its caveats, but iDisk and web hosting did their jobs well. I was happy to pay for .mac and Mobile Me. I feel we are getting exactly what we are paying for with iCloud.

    I have attempted to migrate to iCloud once. I did not like what I saw, nor could I get a feel for what I was getting into. And so I aborted the attempt. It seems like a big step backwards to me in which we are losing core functionality. With the new datacenter, I would expect more functionality, not less. I think the recent Ted Landau piece here on TMO captured my feelings well.

    Frankly, I really don’t get what Apple is trying to do here. Having used Macs since 1986, I can say with confidence that this is the first time I have felt this way.

    Perhaps iFog is a better moniker than iCloud.

    [ Edited: 05 December 2011 08:18 PM by jpashin ]      
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 12:05 AM #12

    [This post was removed because the moderators arbitrarily censor.]

    [ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:09 AM by the_dragonfly ]

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 12:08 AM #13

    [This post was removed because the moderators arbitrarily censor.]

    [ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:09 AM by the_dragonfly ]

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    In any society, when the rules are not enforced on some segment of the population, that segment will become increasingly abusive to the innocent. Examples: Cops & Old Timers on this forum.

         
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 01:49 AM #14

    TanToday - 05 December 2011 03:13 PM
    the_dragonfly - 05 December 2011 08:52 AM

    Cloud services are not core apple strengths. iCloud is good because it helps build lock in, but it is very much first generation.

    First Gen?

    Hardly.

    Remember MOBILE ME?

    They have been “doing cloud” ... BADLY ... now for quite a few years.

    oh, come on! eworld was awesome!