Is iCloud useless for me because I use Google/Firefox?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by sakau2007, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. sakau2007 macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    I have an iPhone 4; It is my only Apple device. I have a PC and I downloaded and installed the iCloud for PC client and I am a bit confused by what I am capable of doing.

    I manage all of my contacts via my Google account (GMail, Google Contacts, whatever you want to call it). It is my address book. I've been syncing my contacts from Google to my iPhone for as long as I can remember. However, I don't see a way for my contacts that I change/edit to go from Google Contacts to the cloud, and then to my phone. Or if I'm out somewhere and meet someone and add their number to my phone, it won't send it to the cloud, and then beam it down into my Google Contacts address book. Am I missing something? The only option I see is to sync my contacts with Outlook (which I don't use). What am I missing? Am I not going to be able to have my contacts synced up everywhere like I thought I would?

    The same issue presents itself with Bookmarks. I use Firefox (with the addon Xmarks which syncs my bookmarks across my laptop, desktop, and work PC). I was hoping to have these same bookmarks also available on my iPhone. Again, though, I only see an option for Internet Explorer. Am I again missing something, or am I out of luck?

    Calendars & Tasks... again, I use Google for all of this. And again, I don't see that as an option... only Outlook.

    So my question is, am I stuck with iCloud being basically useless for me? Am I just not seeing the option to utilize iCloud with Google products/Firefox? If Apple is only supporting these Microsoft products which I don't use, could I use workarounds that could automatically sync my Google Contacts to Outlook and vice-versa? What about a way to sync my Firefox bookmarks to Internet Explorer?

    If anyone has any thoughts or solutions, please let me know.
  2. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    iCloud is just another way for Apple products to sync together. If you already have found a way to do this through other means, then you don't have to utilize all the different features of iCloud to get it to do what you're already doing.

    To be honest, iCloud will work amazing w/ Apple products - but if your setup contains a little Windows and a little Google/Android, iCloud will cause you more problems down the road than its worth.
  3. cc2096 macrumors regular


    May 13, 2005
    Ok first and foremost if you use Google for any/all the mentioned tasks then you are already in "the cloud", specifically Google's cloud not Apple's. The specific answer to your question is no you can not sync Google & iCloud. It would honestly be a bit redundant which is probably the best reason why you can not do it. Just be happy with Google's cloud services and don't worry about iCloud. Unless you want to use it to backup and sync your phone's data (not email, calendars, tasks or contacts, but everything else). That would be your only real use for iCloud at this point.
  4. Danielsan macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    I just moved all my contacts from my Gmail to the icloud.

    the only reason is that i sometimes change the type of info on google (work # for example) actualyl I think the issue was if I had a costume field in gmail.. it would disappear on my iphone (since it doesn't have that custom field in the phone)

    so in google, I did a export of my contact to vcard. double clicked on it. it sunk my exported contact from gmail to my "contact app'' onmy mac (before I had it sunc, now it's local) and then the icloud took my local contats and sunk it with iCloud)

    and it was instantly on my phone/iPad.

    I'll wait a little bit to move my calendar... not sure if I ever will.. as I have it setup with different people at the moment.
  5. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    If you're currently using google, and are happy with them, you might as well stick with google. Pros and cons:

    • Gmail is better than iCloud mail. The filtering and searching are lightyears better, and, with gmail, you can actually set things up such that gmail push does not cause the iPhone to make noises for selected messages. This is really useful when you want to have push email, but not for unimportant mail. The web interface's priority inbox is really cool, too. On the other hand, google's "delete means archive", without giving you an option to change that, is pretty brain-dead. (This is, of course, with the google sync interface, which is the only useful interface for iOS.)
    • Calendars are probably a toss-up. Feature-wise, they seem equivalent, although iCloud calendar has a "friendlier" look-and-feel. Personally, I prefer google calendar, because it works in both firefox and chrome, in the presence of both the adblock and ghostery addons (iCloud calendar is unusable if you have these extensions, and so you have to disable them for
    • iCloud is better for contacts, as iCloud fully supports contacts groups; you can actually keep your work contacts isolated from your friends and family. Google contacts, on the other hand, is just one big jumbled pile. (Yes, while google contacts does support "contact groups", this only works on the web and android interfaces; google just gives you one big steamy pile on iOS.)
    • iCloud does not support the use of personal/business domain names (like google apps).
    Right now, I'm using google for email and calendars, and icloud (mobileme) for contacts. This works pretty well.

    Edit: another big plus for google is how they allow the import and export of your data. For example, try backing up your contacts. It's pretty easy on google. Apple just tells you to use Microsoft Outlook or the mac's address book export.
  6. sakau2007 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    What do you think the chances are we see this feature come with Google Contacts in the near future? 90% of my calling and texting is to my close friends. Would be great to have a list of these so if I do end up buttdialing, it goes to a close friend instead of ex-girlfriends, extended family, and coworkers.
  7. TLewis macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2007
    left coast, US
    Not too likely. Google's had a couple of years to fix this, and they haven't. I imagine they look upon this as an android feature that iOS doesn't have.
  8. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Another perk of Google Calendars is that you can actually share and sync 2+ separately managed calendars on the same device without compromising the logins of the foreign calendar owner. With iCal, if you want to see someone else's calendar, you need to have their login setup on your phone.
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    This is a very accurate assessment. iCloud is proprietary to Apple which is to be expected. Largely designed for the unskilled masses, its primary job is to take over from iTunes and lock the customer into the Apple Eco system.

    For those who already have solutions in place Apples iCloud is of little or no value.

    That said, many will still use it, as it provides them the emotional feeling of Apple exclusivity.

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