iCloud – Apple’s BIG FAIL

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.

iCloud - Apple's BIG FAIL

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.




  1. Speedriff says

    You got Notes and iCal to sync across all devices? Consider yourself lucky. What a joke the iCloud is. I have lost important data in iCal just trying to sync between devices, all to no avail. Notes? Forget it. I consider myself to be pretty computer literate so I have to figure if I’m having these problems, so are most. I guess the wait time at 1-800-My-Apple says it all. Oh, and for the record, don’t waste your time there as they haven’t a clue either. The guy I talked to emailed me a link to their support site, which, is useless as well. If it all worked like it should, maybe the support site would be worthwhile. As of now it is useless and so is Apple tech support. It would seem they are lost in the cloud. EPIC FAIL.

  2. Martin Koss says

    Hi “Speedriff” – thanks for your comments. Although I got Notes and iCal working, it took a few attempts and I’d no doubt struggle if I had to start again. Like you have found, I find Apple support absolutely useless. You would think the money we spend on all these (over priced) Chinese manufactured products would buy us some decent support but I am still waiting since July for 3 or 4 call backs about issues with Lion! There website is just as helpful and when I search for Apple related tech answers I avoid the links to Apple forums because they invariably are totally unhelpful. You never know, one day Apple might actually get all their products working together – but I ain’t holding my breath!