My Initial Experience With iCloud

Update: What I forgot to mention is that I’m discussing iCloud as it appears in third party applications. I’m not discussing my experience with things such as Photo Stream, iCloud backup, or iCloud contacts/mail.

From what I’ve seen so far, iCloud seams really complicated, enough for it to not be the right solution for my cloud data needs.

I’ve been writing on my blog more frequently lately and for that purpose I use iA Writer for Mac and iOS. The newest release of Writer supports iCloud, and I don’t want to sound negative towards the guys who make Writer but iCloud has turned out to be a lot more complicated to use then I thought it would be. It’s even been more of a hassle than the existing Dropbox solution.

The process for creating and deleting files to and from iCloud is not a short process: 1. First I need to create a new document and save it to my hard drive (when on my Mac). 2. I can then choose to move that file up into iCloud. 3. If I want to delete a file that’s on iCloud I have to first re-save the document as a local version. 4. Once the file’s saved locally, I can delete it from my local hard drive.

It’s basically the same saving and deleting of files that I’ve always done, x2. Unfortunately I’ve also run into problems where files saved to iCloud from my Mac are detectable, but unopenable on my iPad and vice versa.

Compared to Notational Velocity, another writing tool I use regularly, this process has been more trouble than its worth.

Just to illustrate how quick Notational Velocity’s workflow is: I type the title of the note I want to create and hit “Enter” once to create a new note, write, then hit “Command + Delete” to delete it. I have my data on NV synced using Simplenote making the data accessible from multiple devices.

So I don’t think iCloud is great in iA Writer. That said, I do look forward to seeing more apps come out with iCloud support. The latest version of Day One will also include iCloud support and I can see its implementation of using iCloud as a no-hassle data backend as being more trouble free compared with using it as an additional file management outlet.

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