When news of Apple’s Cloud Storage service “iCloud” stormed around the web it was welcomed with excitement for anyone using a Mac and an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It meant “finally” we could sync our files. It was the best part of iOS 5. Or, at least, it should have been.
But, alas, the applause was quickly muted when we found it was only “partly” implemented. It only worked for mail, contacts, calendar, notes and iWork Apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)… And even that was only partial. To sync a Pages doc between a Mac and an iPad you’d think iCloud came to the rescue, right? Nope. It didn’t. It is still a manual process of importing files and ending up with duplicates – having to send the file back again, manually.
Is it just my imagination or is that a Mac computer in Apple’s promo image shown above?
You’d think once a “synced” doc or spreadsheet had been updated on the iPad it would send the updates right back to your Mac, right? After all, isn’t that the impression we got when the late Steve Jobs announced iCloud months ago? Well, yep. That is what we expected but no that is not possible – yet.
You’d also think that any app that had iCloud capabilities would be able to send files from your hand held device and those files would be instantly accessible from your Mac, right? Nope. Can’t do that either.
So what does iCloud do for Mac users with an iPod / iPhone / iPad?
Not a lot really. If, like me, you’ve had years of happily synchronised contacts, emails, notes and calendar via Google Apps, iCloud certainly doesn’t enable you to do anything you couldn’t do before.
It does sync mail & notes (I haven’t tried that – see previous comment), calendar, contacts and bookmarks – to your iPhone, iPod or iPad. It syncs your photos too (apparently) but you have to buy the upgrade to iPhoto to see that in all it’s glory so I haven’t seen that working.
What does iCloud do for people who own more than one “i” gadget (iPod Touch and iPad / iPhone and iPad)?
Same list as above with the addition of synchronised Pages, Keynote and Numbers files. Now you’re probably wondering ‘what the heck is the point in being able to sync files between hand held devices but not the place you most likely want to sit and edit your Pages docs or Numbers spreadsheets‘. Yep – ya know what that is a darn good question.
Third party apps: Same issues. I had a chat to a developer last week about it and it was confirmed; while they (app developers) can integrate iCloud to enable synchronising of files between iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) the files cannot be accessed by the Mac or PC. That has to be done the “old fashioned” way via iTunes.
And that, my dear friends, is why I consider the latest roll out by apple to be an almighty FAIL.
All that hoopla about a mega iOS upgrade, a hooking great big Mac OS update… and to find it’s only partially implemented the big deal of it all… iCloud.