Typical of Apple, even iCloud started life a bit bumpy, with plenty of sync and connectivity issues in the early years. Compared to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, Apple’s cloud service efforts were late, problematic, anemic, and, well, the icon was cool.
I think Apple is right about cloud services. They’re not a business.
Guess Who Is Back
Cloud storage and services are loosely defined, but for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users, basically what we want and expect is to have access to files everywhere, on every device.
That’s the premise but the promise isn’t too fulfilled yet. That hasn’t stopped cloud storage pioneer Amazon from unleashing yet another Mac app that misses the boat.
This one is Amazon Cloud Drive. Think of Cloud Drive for what it is. A money grab.
Amazon gives Mac users 5GB of free storage with an option to subscribe monthly for as much storage as you need. The meter is running. The idea is simple. Save a file and have it available everywhere– Mac, Windows, Android device, iPhone and iPad, et al.
The mobile app has a neat timeline layout so you can find photos and other files. Amazon’s iOS app can save photos to Cloud Drive automatically. That means you can delete photos from your iPhone or iPad and they’re still saved, backed up, and stored in the cloud. Amazon Cloud Drive on the Mac works simply enough. Drag and drop.
Apple may have been late to the cloud storage party, but our favorite Mac maker finally figured out what the cloud really is. It’s a service. Not a business. So far, nobody is making much profits with cloud storage services, Amazon included, but Apple seems to recognize the need for seamless usability, though Microsoft is catching on with Office 365.
The idea with cloud storage is simple. The cloud, for most of us, needs to be simple, painless, always on, always available, always backed up, always there, and affordable. Thanks to massive storage with 3D NAND flash drives it may be a long time before we completely rely upon cloud services, but keeping online storage simple, built-in, and always available should be the goal– with full connectivity to every device; Mac, iPhone, iPad.
Apple seems to get that now and iCloud has been working very well under OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.x. As an Apple customers with storage requirements, I don’t want to have to monkey around with an Amazon app here, there, or everywhere. Ditto for Google Drive or OneDrive. Microsoft has a built-in option for Office users, which, by the way, works well.
As to seamless unobtrusive cloud storage, it seems to me that Google, Amazon, and to a certain extent, Microsoft, are chasing Apple.