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FFabian
Jun 15, 2011, 05:33 AM
iDisk seems likely to get replaced in iCloud by different filetype specific syncing serves (photos, music, documents). What about third party apps? Are they able to utilize the iCloud provided syncing too?

Specifically I'm interested in the ability of MS Office for Mac to use the iCloud. Do I have to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote to benefit from the iCloud document syncing or will the MS Office apps use the syncing feature too.

I'm asking 'cause I'm thinking about buying Office 2011 for Mac...



wolfpackfan
Jun 15, 2011, 07:02 AM
I hate to say it but my initial impression is that it will be the iWorks apps only. I have a similar problem except I occasionally use a PC to update some Excel spreadsheets. Looks like there will be no PC support at all. IMO Apple is sure taking a big step backwards in moving from MobileMe to iCloud.

KirkL
Jun 15, 2011, 07:35 AM
One of the cool features of iCloud is how iWork apps can be synced between iOS devices and your Mac. Since MS Office doesn't have iOS (except OneNote - which oddly isn't available on Mac), iCloud sync won't be all that useful.

If you want to just upload your Office docs to the cloud, you can accomplish the same with DropBox (which also has PC-Mac sync) or "Windows Live SkyDrive" (which you can do from within MS Office...this also almost never works well).

HelveticaNeue
Jun 15, 2011, 08:16 AM
One of the cool features of iCloud is how iWork apps can be synced between iOS devices and your Mac.

I don't think that Documents in the Cloud does sync to the Mac. The iCloud site it seems to purposefully exclude Mac syncing. On the "What is iCloud" page they have an animated graphic displaying how syncing works. It shows photostream, music, apps and books syncing between an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. However, when it comes to Documents the graphic changes and the Mac disappears, showing documents syncing between a iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Also the Documents in the Cloud page makes no mention of Mac or PC and only shows iOS devices.

I believe it may be more difficult to sync iWork apps since I think Pages documents on an iPhone aren't stored as .pages files like on a Mac, but as some iOS specific document type which you have to export to Pages when you want to share them. Perhaps this would complicate iCloud syncing since all documents would have to be constantly imported and exported.

Plus, iOS lacks many fonts used on desktop machines. Synced documents would suddenly look very different on the iOS than on the Mac. For example, my office uses a certain font in the header which iOS does not possess. When I bring a document into Pages on the iPad the font changes to something not even close. Now imagine corporate customers who don't realize this that sync documents to their iPads, changed them, iCloud syncs it back to their office, then the people wonder why the fonts look weird on the iMac's at work when they get back.

FFabian
Jun 15, 2011, 08:16 AM
I'm not so much interested in syncing between iOS devices and my Mac but between different Macs (e.g. iMac and MacbookPro) I'd like to have access to my documents while on the move. My iOS devices are only used to look something up not to edit or create documents.

I know about dropbox et al but prefer a solution from one source and not a third party app. MobileME provided that with iDisk, Calendar, Mail and Contact Sync. I could store important documents in iDisk and access them from my iOS devices (Pages, Keynote), MacBook Pro, iMac at home and even a Windows PC via WebApp. (I know I'm contradicting myself with that, as MS Office is third party too, but unfortunately my education/business environment there is no choice but to use MS Office)

Edit: Thanks for the Info HelveticaNeue. I seriously hope you 're interpretation doesn't prove true. If ICloud retains something similar to iDisk such a restriction wouldn't bother me as I could use it to sync "manually".

Fiesta
Jun 15, 2011, 08:20 AM
iDisk seems likely to get replaced in iCloud by different filetype specific syncing serves (photos, music, documents). What about third party apps? Are they able to utilize the iCloud provided syncing too?

Specifically I'm interested in the ability of MS Office for Mac to use the iCloud. Do I have to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote to benefit from the iCloud document syncing or will the MS Office apps use the syncing feature too.

I'm asking 'cause I'm thinking about buying Office 2011 for Mac...

Maybe. In the Keynote APIs were mentioned. But I can't remember if it was for desktop or mobile apps. Maybe both.

miles01110
Jun 15, 2011, 08:22 AM
I know about dropbox et al but prefer a solution from one source and not a third party app.

Why? Why are you limiting yourself to Apple "solutions" when a third-party service (in this case, DropBox) does exactly what you want independent of platform and software? That's just silly. Even more so if viewing and syncing documents across multiple machines is a business necessity for you.

FFabian
Jun 15, 2011, 08:30 AM
Why? Why are you limiting yourself to Apple "solutions" when a third-party service (in this case, DropBox) does exactly what you want independent of platform and software? That's just silly. Even more so if viewing and syncing documents across multiple machines is a business necessity for you.

Right now Apple provides exactly what I want with MobileMe (mail, calendar and contact sync + iDisk). Why should I use DropBox when I'm already paying for something similar. I just hope iCloud provides the same or perhaps something even better (automatic Document sync as opposed to manually saving my important documents to the iDisk folder). I will use DropBox if iCloud omits iDisk and doesn't provide document syncing for non-iWork Documents.

miles01110
Jun 15, 2011, 08:33 AM
Right now Apple provides exactly what I want with MobileMe (mail, calendar and contact sync + iDisk). Why should I use DropBox when I'm already paying for something similar.
You shouldn't; but MobileMe is going away.
I just hope iCloud provides the same or perhaps something even better (automatic Document sync as opposed to manually saving my important documents to the iDisk folder).
Indeed. Maybe I missed your point a bit; I was saying that if iCloud doesn't offer Office document compatibility, it'd be silly to try to force iCluod to work for you when DropBox will function with no issues.

d21mike
Jun 15, 2011, 09:36 AM
You shouldn't; but MobileMe is going away.

Indeed. Maybe I missed your point a bit; I was saying that if iCloud doesn't offer Office document compatibility, it'd be silly to try to force iCluod to work for you when DropBox will function with no issues.
I think we are all hoping that iCloud will evolve to be more like MM but better.

wolfpackfan
Jun 15, 2011, 02:57 PM
I don't think that Documents in the Cloud does sync to the Mac. The iCloud site it seems to purposefully exclude Mac syncing. On the "What is iCloud" page they have an animated graphic displaying how syncing works. It shows photostream, music, apps and books syncing between an iPhone, iPad and a Mac. However, when it comes to Documents the graphic changes and the Mac disappears, showing documents syncing between a iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.


It had never crossed my mind that the Numbers and Pages files in Documents in the Cloud would not sync with a Mac. I just assumed that would happen for sure. Wow, if this is true, this is a major step backwards from MobileMe. At least with MobileMe, you can copy files from your Mac to your iOS device. But you are right, I've looked through the webpages on the Apple site and no where does it mention that they would sync with a Mac. It doesn't say they won't though either. Apple really needs to clear up this confusion.

HelveticaNeue
Jun 15, 2011, 06:17 PM
I've looked through the webpages on the Apple site and no where does it mention that they would sync with a Mac. It doesn't say they won't though either. Apple really needs to clear up this confusion.

I agree, but I don't think the evidence bodes well. Apple is very good at explaining what a application/service/device can do, but they don't like to mention what it can't. And here: not a single word, not a single image of Mac iWork syncing. Perhaps Apple plans to announce iWork 11 and are waiting for that so as not to mislead people that iCloud will work with iWork 09. Apple is cautious like that. I suppose we'll know in the Fall.

Phil A.
Jun 15, 2011, 06:23 PM
It had never crossed my mind that the Numbers and Pages files in Documents in the Cloud would not sync with a Mac. I just assumed that would happen for sure. Wow, if this is true, this is a major step backwards from MobileMe. At least with MobileMe, you can copy files from your Mac to your iOS device. But you are right, I've looked through the webpages on the Apple site and no where does it mention that they would sync with a Mac. It doesn't say they won't though either. Apple really needs to clear up this confusion.

there's no technical reason why they can't do this (contrary to what a poster said earlier, Mac iWork apps can open end edit iOS iWork documents without a problem): I currently use dropbox and I can save a document in Pages to my Dropbox then open it up on my iPad, make changes and save it back, open it on my Mac, make changes, etc, etc

Edit
Having looked at the page in question, I think they will definitely be supporting iWork apps on the mac - look at this bit at the bottom of the page (http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/documents.html):


Coming soon to third-party apps.
iCloud is already seamlessly integrated with Apple iWork apps. And we’ve given developers the tools to make their apps work with iCloud, too. So you’ll be able to paint a masterpiece, create reminders, edit stock lists, and more — and have it all stay with you on all your devices, including your Mac or PC.


Macs and PCs are clearly mentioned there...

marc11
Jun 15, 2011, 06:33 PM
You know what I don't get? Who asked Apple to reinvent MM? I mean, let's look at the features:

Back to My Mac - Works GREAT. Screen sharing, device access and HD access hanging off AEBS or Time Capsule. I use it all the time, now???? Gone?? Why?

iDisk - Bottom line it worked. Yeah, it was a little slow, but it worked and was cross platform (not as well as Dropbox). So, why not just improve it. Faster servers, better data management, ala Dropbox. Why kill it, lots of people used it.

Photo Gallery - Works GREAT! Fast to upload photos, very well integrated into all devices. Again as I said earlier the POINT of photo gallery was not to see my last 30 days or 1000 pics on ALL MY DEVICES, but have a central point to see my pics where I want, when I want and what I want. Again, this needed NO CHANGES.

Mail - A web client is a must. Sometimes I am at a hotel, at a job site, where ever and I need to read my email. Maybe my phone is low on battery, maybe there is no cell or wifi, so now, I am SOL? Why not keep the client and just add IMAP? Seems simple enough to me.

Cal - Works, period. Web, sync, etc. Sure, it needs some better features, so enhance it.

Contacts - Sync works perfectly, the app needs enhancements bad, but the MM sync and online access is flawless.

Sync - Other data synched fine, no issues, now that is gone?

Back up - The utility works, period. It is slow, improve it.

Doc Sync - This can EASILY be an enhancement to iDisk and the sync services, you throw your docs up to iDisk in the background and other devices can pull them down ON DEMAND. Again, I DO NOT want ALL my stuff just pushed down to my phone, ipad or itouch. HEY APPLE, you only give us MAX 32 to 64 gigs of space, how much do you expect us to waste on useless docs and photo's??????


IMHO Apple has lost focus on what people WANT in the cloud and synched. App sync, music sync is all good. The rest of what you are disposing of or changing for the "better" IMHO may equate to another failure, because in this case again, you aren't listening to your customers. You know, they could have cut the price in half, improved a few things, and offered music match as they do as a premium and boom tons of people would have been happy. Oh and then give us iWork 2012 with versions and cloud back up at another pay if you want. Win Win???

Now, I hope I am wrong and many of the things I use everyday remain, I am getting concerned. I have signed up for Dropbox and downloaded the IOS and iPhoto plug in for Photobucket. If Apple stays on the path they seem to be, then I will just pay those two companies for the services I expected from Apple.

Clearly in some ways Apple just isn't getting it.

jive turkey
Jun 15, 2011, 06:35 PM
Of course documents will sync with the Mac. The whole Keynote was centered around having ALL devices--including computers--in sync. iCloud was specifically touted as working with PC's and Mac with music, pictures, etc. Too many people will want to write papers, do research, etc. on a computer instead of an iOS device for that not to sync, as well. It is part of the whole melding of the OSes thing.

And it was specifically said that any app could write an API to tap into this, so I'm sure Microsoft will utilize that option.

marc11
Jun 15, 2011, 06:39 PM
And it was specifically said that any app could write an API to tap into this, so I'm sure Microsoft will utilize that option.

I wouldn't be so sure....just look at how long it took them to include sync services in Outlook 2011 and then what a poor job they did with it at that.

HelveticaNeue
Jun 15, 2011, 07:21 PM
there's no technical reason why they can't do this (contrary to what a poster said earlier, Mac iWork apps can open end edit iOS iWork documents without a problem): I currently use dropbox and I can save a document in Pages to my Dropbox then open it up on my iPad, make changes and save it back, open it on my Mac, make changes, etc, etc

I think you were referring to me. If so, I didn't say Mac iWork can't open and edit iOS iWork documents. I said those documents have to be exported first. Peeking inside the iPad's hierarchy you can see a Pages file (for example) is stored as a .db file inside the app. When you select to share a file with your iDisk, Dropbox or iTunes, the app exports it back to a .pages file. Just like how synced brought over from iTunes are held inside the Pages app as .pages files until you select them and click import and they are then changed to a index.db file inside a folder with a distinct number representing the document.

All I said was that iCloud will have to automatically import .pages files to .db files when syncing to an iOS device and automatically export the .db to a .pages file when syncing from iOS to Mac. Not impossible. I don't see why it can't happen. I was just mentioning the extra layer of complexity, slight though it is.

Of course documents will sync with the Mac. The whole Keynote was centered around having ALL devices--including computers--in sync. iCloud was specifically touted as working with PC's and Mac with music, pictures, etc. Too many people will want to write papers, do research, etc. on a computer instead of an iOS device for that not to sync, as well. It is part of the whole melding of the OSes thing.

I agree, people will definitely want iWork to sync with Mac OS. But that's the odd thing ... how come all those other services you mentioned (music, photostream, contacts, mail, calendar) all show pictures of syncing between Macs and iOS and Documents is the ONLY one that shows just iOS devices in the images. How come every one of those other services spell out in text that they sync with your Mac/PC except Documents, where such clarity is strangely absent.

I'm not even saying it won't. I pray it will. I'm just saying it's strange that Documents is the only one for which it's not mentioned or shown in images.

Anyway, last you'll hear from me on the subject. We'll all know for certain soon enough. :)

Phil A.
Jun 16, 2011, 03:21 AM
I think you were referring to me. If so, I didn't say Mac iWork can't open and edit iOS iWork documents. I said those documents have to be exported first. Peeking inside the iPad's hierarchy you can see a Pages file (for example) is stored as a .db file inside the app. When you select to share a file with your iDisk, Dropbox or iTunes, the app exports it back to a .pages file. Just like how synced brought over from iTunes are held inside the Pages app as .pages files until you select them and click import and they are then changed to a index.db file inside a folder with a distinct number representing the document.


Thanks for the clarification - it makes sense now (I did misunderstand what you were saying) :)

maflynn
Jun 16, 2011, 06:50 AM
I think we are all hoping that iCloud will evolve to be more like MM but better.

Agreed, but apple's track record on these types of things are less then stellar. I'm hoping for better but I'm not holding my breath. I would love to see any file/document have the ability to be synced. Not just documents produced by an apple app.

d21mike
Jun 16, 2011, 09:40 AM
Agreed, but apple's track record on these types of things are less then stellar. I'm hoping for better but I'm not holding my breath. I would love to see any file/document have the ability to be synced. Not just documents produced by an apple app.Sadly, I agree. Just hoping.