Am I the only one who doesn't really understand iCloud?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by ThatsMeRight, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I usually never have any problems with new Apple software or new hardware, but iCloud is just really confusing for me.

    I have yet to find someone who can tell me, in one sentence, what it is and how it works. It's just so confusing and I just don't get it.

    The only thing I get is PhotoStream and that's it. I don't become any wiser when visiting Apple's website.

    Do more people feel this way? iCloud just isn't as clear and understandable as other (software) products from Apple.
  2. seedidea macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    iCloud is just an online service where your calendar, email, contacts, and reminders are stored on an Apple server, not just your iMac (if you have one), or your iPhone or iPad, or all and any combination. You log into your iCloud account on their sever from any computer to see and manage your stuff that way, such as when you forget your iPhone at home and need to check your calendar, or if you have a Windows computer.

    You can optionally get an iCloud email account with a new email address too. There are other components of iCloud that you can use as you wish, like storing photos and music you buy from iTunes, or storing documents and presentations if you use Pages or Keynote. More services will roll out in time. It's pretty slick.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    That's more accurate, but not a bad explanation.
  4. ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Thank you for your explanation. I do understand the idea behind iCloud, but I think it just doesn't work that easy. With almost all Apple software, people immediately understand how it works and how to use it but with iCloud I have found that a lot of people don't really 'get it'.

    It might also be that I'm not really "open" to the cloud just yet. I like the idea behind it, but I don't like the fact that all my data is stored somewhere else (in my case even at the other side of the world since I live in Europe).

    The only thing I have turned on from iCloud is PhotoStream (I think that's actually quite nice because now I can immediately put photos from my iPhone on my iPad), Find my iPhone and "Documents and app data".

    I have choosen to back-up to iTunes instead of iCloud, because I want to have it stored locally.
  5. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I think many people don't "get it". :) It's a bunch of services and there is no quick answer. Coming from Mobile Me it only adds a few new features, but taken as a whole with the limited information available it's not clear.

    If I had to boil it down to a single long and poorly constructed sentance: iCloud is online storage (including backups), and a mechanism to synchronize between and access data from iDevices and computers. Which I'm not sure answers your question. ;)
  6. phreebsd macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    how do you clear out the icloud storage?
    it says i have 2.8gb free and the only features of icloud ive ever used were contacts, calendar and bookmarks. theres no way i have 2.2gb worth of that data.
  7. srf4real macrumors 68030


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    Think of the iCloud as a personal hard drive that Apple manages and maintains for you, doing automatic backups or backup on demand. The 'vision' behind it is simple; the consumer *you... doesn't want to be bothered with trying to manage all of their data, music, apps, etc., that needs to be shared between multiple computers and devices. The consumer wants this to "just work" automatically. So Steve and Apple ponied up a way for Mac and iTunes users to enjoy the convenience on their devices that run Mac OS or iOS.

    Truth is, this data of *yours is stored on Apple's servers and although it belongs to you, is truly in the posession of Apple and they are responsible for its management or mismanagement. You are responsible for its content.. Wait has anyone actually read the terms of agreement on this?:eek::eek::eek:
  8. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    iCloud, your music, iWork documents, Mail, Contacts, Schedule and Photos on syncrhonized to every one of your devices, anywhere at anytime....
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    It's like the Google cloud, or Microsoft cloud... Except since Apple was late to the party, they have to make it sound "special" and "magical". It's really nothing new, and should have existed for a few years already.
  10. srf4real macrumors 68030


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL

    And should be much further along in development, considering its' lateness to said "party"... I'd have expected more from Apple with a top of the line management interface, like an app or something that lets you direct and control exactly what is synched where, when, and how. They're slippin':apple::(
  11. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    It really isn't a cloud service in the same way that most other services are. As usual, being an Apple service, there are lots of restrictions.

    The way I think about iCloud is that it is 'A service that keeps the content of all of your devices in sync.'

    It tries to do this automatically to the best of its ability, and that's why there is no 'cloud disk space' available for you to use any way you like. The space can only be accessed by the various programs Apple wants to allow.
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Hardly late. MobileMe is donkies old. I'm still using it!
  13. wolfpackfan macrumors 68000

    Jun 10, 2007
    Cary, NC
    I just don't understand what all the confusion is about. iCloud is just another server based service. These type services have been around for years. iCloud provides for email, calendaring, contacts, bookmark synching, document synching (using Apple's iWork apps) across devices and photo synching across devices. You can use any of these features or all of them. These type of services have been around for years from other sources (Gmail, Google calendar, Dropbox, Picasa). It is just now Apple is providing the service for free.
  14. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I think you're absolutely correct.

    Apple seems to have fumbled the ball under their slogan of "It Just Works".

    While it may "Just Work" Apples made understanding it needlessly complex for the non technical customer, and even the technically inclined, for that matter. Now with Mr. Smoke & Mirrors gone from the scene, it will be interesting to see who at Apple will convince the public it's easy, even when it's not.


    Apple is only providing partial service for free.
  15. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    One aspect a lot of people don't talk about is the API's given to developers to hook into iCloud. Hopefully we will see more and more apps use this. Developers can use iCloud to enable their apps to store documents, key/value pairs (such as configuration or program data) among other things, and have them sync between all of a users computers or devices running that app.

    Apple basically presented the MobileMe part of iCloud, along with iTunes in the cloud and match. I think the real WOW experience of iCloud will be some genius and crafty developers really making interesting programs with a cloud platform at their disposal.

    What you see at is just the beginning.
  16. ThatsMeRight thread starter macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    This is exactly what I mean.
  17. oncold macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2011
    And because we can compare to those other services we can say iCloud sucks on some key features like:
    • How I access files from a public computer?
    • How I share files with others?
    • Saving ANY file I want, not the ones Apple "approves".
    • What about my old Macs?
    I can do now this with my iDisk service (paying $100) but what will happen when the service will be discontinued next year?
    They better come with a great solution or I'll have to look somewhere else.
  18. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    Ditto - I was very confused, but I quickly figured out: it's not for me. Apple seemed to imply it was wonderful, magical, etc - so I figured this must be even better than Dropbox. It's not. It's basically a super-limited subset of file sync, combined with a contacts / calendar sync (for iDevices) and a way to upload your iDevice photos automatically.

    I opened an iCloud account, tried to sync something, then realised that:
    (a) doesnt work with my Android phone wrt contacts sync
    (b) file storage for iWorks apps only, not general purpose. I don't use any iWorks apps.
    (c) I couldn't easily see what's synchronised where (unlike Dropbox), and what's local only, but it doesn't matter because it's not really cross-platform anyway
    (d) when I wanted to stop iCloud sharing is gave some dire warning about how it would delete my data. Not explaining if this would only be deleted from the cloud, wiped from my local machine, both, or what.

    From what I understand, it's only interesting if both of the following are true:
    (a) you own more than one Apple device
    (b) you use Apple applications for most of your productivity
    (c) you have a great fear understanding files

    Andy Ithnako and other fervent Apple supporters are even having problems.


    This weeks Macbreak Weekly (274) podcast gives some mention to the (great lack) of clear documentation for developers.
  19. bluefox9er macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2010
    all i understand is that using this horrible feature means I will lose ALL my bookmarks and contacts. I am beyond angry.
  20. seedidea macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Why will you lose them? I didn't. In fact it made it easier to manage them.
  21. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    This seems to be the case with Apple quite often nowadays. Nothing is ever released that is just great out of the box. I often find myself explaining to colleagues that "more features are coming soon" or "the update will be coming sometime in late Fall" or some other nebulous excuse for the lack of features right now.

    Truth is, the majority of iCloud's current features could've been released years ago. There is no real reason why Apple has released such a half-baked service. I bet the founders of Dropbox really must be shaking in their boots over Jobs's exclamation of "we're going after your business". I think Apple's (Jobs's) love affair with trying to get rid of the file browser has gotten the best of them and has/will keep them towards the rear of the competition until they realize this.
  22. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2009
    If you are on an older (non-Lion) Mac, you (currently) lose access to contact and bookmark syncing. They just stop updating once you upgrade one of your mobile devices to iOS5. I am hoping that changes at some point because I have no desire to move to Lion and want to stay on Snow Leopard. So, instead of moving to Lion, looks like I will have to move on to other Calendar and contact applications on both the computer and mobile devices and bypass Apple entirely. Not what I wanted to do, but it appears that at least at the present time, Apple is giving me no other choice.
  23. D.T., Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

    D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I think it's pretty interesting for even just item 'a' out of your list - just one Apple device makes it a decent service for Outlook sync. i.e., keeping your contacts, calendar and tasks sync'ed from a windows PC to (for example) and an iPhone.

    OOTB, Android/Google doesn't supply a contacts sync for Outlook, only a free calendar plugin (they kind of want you to make GMail the centralized manager ... there is a pay sync product from their enterprise products).

    For the most part right now, iCloud is simply taking the place of iTunes. It provides sync for email/cal, pics, music and backup - the same thing you'd get if you connected an iOS device to a PC. However, the file management portion of iTunes hasn't really been implemented, just an API that's not in widespread use (outside of iWorks).

    Apple won't move toward something with a totally exposed file system type model like DropBox, but they need some kind of centralized content/media/file management. Maybe dynamically exposing "dropboxes" where app related content could be stored - keep it very "meta content" visualized, but allow a simple browsing mechanism.

    On thing that was _very_ nice for me the past couple of days - I'm OOT with the family, was finally time to retire my Android phone, had a fully sub'ed upgrade hit on the 1st, so I hit up and Apple store, score a new 4S (black 32GB if you're wondering :) ), and once the service turned on and I connected to my iCloud, I had all my contacts, phone numbers, calender appointments, etc., before I walked out of the mall :D
  24. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Being a long time Apple customer, I would predict it's not likely to change. It's another way Apple sells new equipment.

    If you want to take advantage of their latest, you have to buy the new OS, if you've been enjoying the longevity Macs offer, then yours may be incompatible making you eligible to spend more money on new hardware.

    Conversely if like me, you prefer Snow Leopard, but want a new computer, Lion is forced on you. It's win/win for Apple, and the buyer? not so much unless you believe everything you're told by Apple.

    After all if we don't buy new, we are being "passed up" according to many Apple worshipers. Funny, I'm so effective with my fast, well optimized 2010 MBP, running 10.6.8 that my system never fails me.

    Not a hiccup. Maxed out with the fastest processor, max ram and a speedy SSD, I could not be happier.

    I'm not saying Lion is bad. Heck no.... it's continues to drive my Apple stock higher. But for those who are not investors and like myself have no need for it, then it's not an advantage in any way.

    I'd be really happy if Apple would be a little more flexible. I certainly won't be using 10.6.8 a few years from now, but with Apple choices are frowned upon.
  25. srf4real macrumors 68030


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    My apple id has been compromised twice since MobileMe was replaced by the "free" iCloud service. I've had to resort to professional grade 20 character passwords that I can't even remember. But with the paid service of iTunes match, I'm learning to like it even though I hate it..:rolleyes:

    I try to be open minded, I realize that change always ruffles my feathers - but if I must adapt to change for heaven's sake Apple try to make it a little less PAINFUL~!

Share This Page