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transphasic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
259
106
Hi all. This is really a question in a sense about the larger scope of computers moving forward...

I am seeking a way to integrate my desktop unit, a 27" iMac and a laptop I would buy to use on the road/traveling. Ideally, the data would sync perfectly for both machines so that when I am on the road all data within the various applications such as:

- browser bookmarks
- application passwords
- application account info such as quicken data
- new files created such as word docs, excel spreadsheets, photoshop art, etc.

are all completely shared and presented between the two devices - without having to use an external HD to manually backup and transfer data when switching. Meaning when home and using my imac, the information on the computer that is updated will also be in the laptop, so when I use that on the road it is a completely seamless transition.

I guess a simple but good example would be contacts, where updating them on the iphone also does so on the desktop and other devices associated using one's apple ID. Also, the keychain sharing of passwords as well.

I suspect in the future, the device one uses will have less importance than the data itself, and one will be able to plug in their watch, iphone, desktop, tablet, etc., with all app and operating system data synced completely between the devices.

But at this time, does a method exist to achieve this?

Yes, there are workarounds, such as backups to externals or maybe timemachine in the cloud, but is there a more elegant solution that accomplishes this task? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,699
2,449
Baltimore, Maryland
The amount of data you need to sync will, of course, affect the amount you need to pay to get such a configuration working.

If you prefer a third-party browser it's not a problem but it would be an additional step…beyond enabling iCloud…to sync it between devices.
 
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transphasic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
259
106
If you enable iCloud on both machines, they can sync bookmarks, passwords and files saved to iCloud, same as your iPhone. It works on all devices.

The amount of data you need to sync will, of course, affect the amount you need to pay to get such a configuration working.

If you prefer a third-party browser it's not a problem but it would be an additional step…beyond enabling iCloud…to sync it between devices.

Thank you for your replies:

1-can iCloud or some other service store ALL data, not just apple's pre-determined/accepted files/data? This would allow apps like Quicken that stores a data file locally to be "clouded" so that the laptop and other devices would have access to it.

2-my HDD has 475GB of data on it, is there a 3rd-party service that can store that much? I use apple's cloud service for items for messages, contacts, etc and that is $36 for 200GBs, which I feel to be reasonable, are their alternative options that are more economical?
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,872
3,025
iCloud or some other service store ALL data, not just apple's pre-determined/accepted files/data?

iCloud mirrors folders. If a folder is in an iCloud synched directory then that folder and its contents will be available. App access to data files there is different issue.

my HDD has 475GB of data on it, is there a 3rd-party service that can store that much?

There are backup services that will easily backup that much data, such as Backblaze and Crashplan business which both allow for unlimited storage. Retention policies can go up to a year or more. iCloud is not a backup service and it only holds deleted data for 30 days.

Quicken has an IOS app that has some functionality if you have enabled the Cloud in Quicken. Accessing the quicken data file via the internet isn't viable due as it would just be too slow.
 
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gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,678
1,431
Tasmania
I use apple's cloud service for items for messages, contacts, etc and that is $36 for 200GBs,
Where is that $36? Of course, that was per year!

iCloud is US$10 per month for 2TB. That is about the going rate for cloud synchronisation service. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201238

Work out the size of files you want to sync (not just how full your disk is). You might well fit in 200GB (US$3 pm)
can iCloud or some other service store ALL data
There are probably exceptions, but the answer is YES.

As well as Apple app sharing (e.g. Contacts, Calendar, Notes), some third party apps store data, by default, in iCloud. In addition you can create folders in iCloud Drive and put any data files in there.

iCloud really is the easy way to synchronise data between your Apple devices.

-----

Alternative approach (which I use):
Only use iCloud for small stuff (Contacts, Calendar, etc.). Don't use a cloud storage service for documents , photos, etc. Instead synchronise select folders between your two Macs when you are home, but don't worry when you are on the road. For this I use Chronosync https://www.econtechnologies.com/
 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,872
3,025
iCloud is US$10 per month for 2TB. That is about the going rate for cloud synchronisation service.

Backblaze and Crashplan business charge about that much for unlimited data backups. But they are backup services, not sychronization services.
 
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transphasic

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
259
106
iCloud mirrors folders. If a folder is in an iCloud synched directory then that folder and its contents will be available. App access to data files there is different issue.

There are backup services that will easily backup that much data, such as Backblaze and Crashplan business which both allow for unlimited storage. Retention policies can go up to a year or more. iCloud is not a backup service and it only holds deleted data for 30 days.

Quicken has an IOS app that has some functionality if you have enabled the Cloud in Quicken. Accessing the quicken data file via the internet isn't viable due as it would just be too slow.
1-App access:
Meaning if I store the data files, docs, spreadsheets, etc for the apps I use, on iCloud, there should not be any impediment to opening them as it is simply another storage unit to point to, like a USB drive?

2-quicken data file:
I will test this out to see how responsive/quickly the app functions with the data file stored in the cloud. I use it for my business so it is critical it is up-to-date at all times.
 

gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,678
1,431
Tasmania
Meaning if I store the data files, docs, spreadsheets, etc for the apps I use, on iCloud, there should not be any impediment to opening them as it is simply another storage unit to point to, like a USB drive?
Yes (nearly always).

But if an apps is rapidly/frequently modifying files then that may make iCloud synchronisation a bottleneck. So docs and spreadsheets will be fine, but there could be performance issues with some database files. This is why you need to carefully test Quicken.

You will also need to be careful to never (and I mean never) open a Quicken file on two Macs at the same time. And after closing a Quicken file on one Mac, you will need to make sure synchronisation has completed to the other Mac before opening it there. If you want to rely on timely automatic synchronisation you might be better using Dropbox which is significantly more responsive than iCloud.

It might be safer to keep the Quicken files in local storage on each Mac and synchronise (whilst both connected to your home/work LAN) before leaving for a trip and again after returning. Or even, use Quicken only on your MacBook. But you need to think through your workflow.
 
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