With the much-ballyhooed release of the Apple’s iCloud last month, everything was supposed to get a little easier. The desktop computer was going to be relegated to the status of “just another device,” and all our data was almost magically going to be available on all our platforms, updated behind the scenes and ready for use at our beck and call.
Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. Don’t get us wrong, the cloud is a technological marvel and once all the kinks are ironed out iCloud will presumably prove as convenient as advertised, but for those of us who spent hours updating platform software and playing around with the new features, let’s just say it could have been a little easier. The Pages application, for example, is sleek, powerful, and easy to use, but as of now you can’t create document folders for it, and so many are sticking with Dropbox, Google Documents, or some other cloud storage service. You can sync Safari bookmarks, but not those of Firefox or Chrome. You can have your iCloud calendar or you can have your Google calendar, but not both, and Apple’s sometimes frustrating penchant for walling its garden leaves many users perplexed over how to sync all their data if they’re not prepared to abandon what they’re used to and switch to Apple software and applications exclusively.
We assume that it’s only a matter of time before iCloud prioritizes user demand over technical territorialism and facilitates the use of software that’s not exclusive to the Apple universe, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel. This week we’ve only covered some of its shortcomings, but in a future post we’ll address what iCloud means specifically to mobile app developers, where the news is much cheerier indeed.