I think Apple’s engineers and executives live in bubbles. Separate bubbles. Take iCloud. Please. So far, it’s been good for syncing up Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, and Keychain, but little else. Will iCloud 2.0 for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 change that?
Little Steps Add Up
Apple’s cloud business is a Jekyll and Hyde affair. On one hand, it’s a beast– iTunes media mall, Apple TV, iTunes App Store, Mac App Store; all of which works OK.
Then there’s iCloud, which has a truly Dalmatian record. Spotty. Dropbox has always worked better for me on third party apps than iCloud.
Well, Apple’s new iCloud, I’ll call it iCloud 2.0, is more Dropbox than ever. It’s even competitively priced. 99-cents a month for 20GB. Ten times that for only $3.99 a month.
You get more storage for free than Dropbox (but less than GoogleDrive), and iCloud– in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8– is opened up.
That means you can organize files and folders as if they were in the Finder. What’s not to like?
In a bid to lock in app developers to the iOS ecosystem, Apple has even more generous storage available; to the point of being free. Within a few limits. And, importantly, only for iOS apps.
What’s The Problem?
Apple seems to be intent on making iCloud, now iCloud Drive, more competitive and more useful– both for customers and developers.
That works for me. So, what’s the problem?
Two things will make iCloud Drive a winning product for Mac, iPhone, and iPad customers. First, up the storage capacity and lower the price tag.
Wait. Didn’t Apple just do that? 20GB for 99-cents a month? Compare that to Yahoo!’s Flickr for storing photos. One terabyte– that’s 1TB– is free. Increasingly, photos and videos need to be stored online (good for backup and easy access on any devices; especially those like iPhone and iPad where storage is a premium).
Get competitive, Apple. Again.
Second, and time will tell if Apple truly understands the issues, iCloud Drive will need to be more stable, dependable, reliable than iCloud, which has an abysmal track record. It seems that Google and Samsung are getting better at creating useful, attractive, polished apps than Apple is at making things work in the cloud.
iCloud Drive won’t hit the digital streets until fall 2014, and it’s shaping up to be a notable improvement over iCloud, but competition is intense. Then again, where else are we going to go?