This week Apple launched new Macs and iPads, well before the holiday shopping season, and right on the heels of the highly successful and much ballyhooed iPhone 6 roll out, then announced record financials. Again. All is good in Cupertino, right? Wait. Remember MobileMe?
A Rose? Or, A Stink Bug?
If you’re like many of the few hundred million iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, you upgraded your Apple devices to the latest and greatest– OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1.
Along with the expected new features, including Handoff, Continuity, Apple Pay, and other goodies, was iCloud Drive.
Think Dropbox, but Apple style.
The idea is pure Apple. Any kind of file can be stored and shared on all your devices.
It is difficult to complain about the concept, but the roll out smacks of living in the early days of Apple’s notorious MobileMe, which is what iCloud was before the name change. What most of us want and need is a simple, elegant, unobtrusive way to store files everywhere.
Here’s how Apple describes iCloud Drive.
Now you have the freedom to work with the document of your choice on the device of your choice. Because with iCloud Drive, you can safely store all your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document in iCloud and access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC
Wonderful concept to match the enticing copywriting. What about reality? Remember the original MobileMe rollout? Disastrous. Based on Apple customer complaints in the Support Community it would appear that Apple hasn’t learned from history so is destined to repeat history.
My experience with iCloud Drive is mixed, but it’s not a good mix. I loaded up some files and folder into the Mac iCloud Drive folder on OS X Yosemite (copied over from Dropbox) and waited to see how long before the files showed up on other devices.
In just a few minutes the files began propagating across Macs, iPhone, and iPad. But not all the files. Some were missing. Some are still missing. When I deleted the folder in iCloud Drive it kept coming back. It was the folder from hell, files that could not be deleted from my Mac or any other iCloud Drive enabled device.
That experience was repeated by many Mac, iPhone, and iPad users, as evidenced by all the noise emanating from Apple’s online Support Community. MobileMe settled down after a few weeks and became more reliable, but the damage to the brand name was done; Apple apologized, gave away free months of storage, and took plenty of heat and bad press.
So, I’ve decided to give iCloud Drive a rest. I’ll check back in a couple of weeks and see how it’s going. But as of the first few days, it’s going downhill. MobileMe lives!