Color me sufficiently mature that I’m not much of an early adopter any more. Sure, as a certified member of the technology industry, I’m closer to the bleeding edge than most, but not sitting on the edge any more.
Maybe I’m a little smarter now after having cut myself by jumping too quickly into the next great thing. That includes iCloud. Oh, sure, I use iCloud and have since it replaced MobileMe (which I used, but not for anything critical) because it does a decent, albeit slowly, job of syncing data from Apple’s apps. Now I’ve gone all in.
Better With Age
For the most part, iCloud hasn’t caused me any grief in a couple of years, and very slowly I’ve been adding new files to keep them synchronized between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The big jump was last month when I realized I could fit all the photos and videos from Photos onto the 200GB storage option in iCloud for a measly $2.99 a month.
So, I pruned Photos a bit, went into System Preferences, clicked on iCloud and turned on iCloud Photo Library in the Photos section. What that does is rather simple although it took a few days. Photos on your Mac becomes the repository for all original photos and videos files. Every other device using the Apple ID on your Mac gets lower resolution copies for the same files. That means other Macs, iPhone, iPads, get everything from Photos on your Mac, but the Mac retains the originals.
Take a photo or video on your iPhone and a few minutes later the files show up on your iPads and Macs. I ran that for a full month and I’ll report zero problems, other than the aforementioned couple of days to get all devices into sync. The public internet still isn’t as fast as we want it to be.
Like a good wine, iCloud has improved a bit with age.
All In, Almost
iCloud in System Preferences has another option right above Photos. It’s called iCloud Drive, and basically it’s another way to get files onto your iCloud account right from the Mac’s Finder. Those files then sync up, as it does with Photos, to iPhone, iPad, and other Macs.
Click on Options and you will see a list of apps which use iCloud. Examples include, Mail, Pages, Numbers, Messages, iBooks, Reminders, and many other third party apps. At the top, there is a setting for Desktop and Documents Folders on your Mac. That means those two folders will then be synchronized to iCloud and available on iCloud Drive to iPhone, iPad, and other Macs which use the same Apple ID.
Again, I had to do some pruning on both Desktop and Documents, but then did the deed with a click. Again, it took almost two days for iCloud to sync those files and folders to all other devices. Uploading was rather quick; just a few hours, but downloading took awhile on the five devices I use on iCloud.
In the end, well, it just worked. The iCloud Drive files and folders on my MacBook Pro are the same as on my desktop iMac. Changes to one mean changes to the other in a few minutes or so. And, because iCloud Drive also works on iPhone and iPad, those files and folders get synchronized there, too.
Now, I’ve been an Apple customer for a few decades, so I know the routine. Trust, but verify. And, backup. So, I have backups of the Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive stored safely away and synced elsewhere on my Macs (and with backups of each Mac). So, when I say I’m all in on iCloud, it’s a relative all in.
All those files and folders and photos and videos also put me precariously close to the 200GB limit for $2.99 a month. The next level is $9.99 but comes with 2TB of storage. I might use that for family iMovie and some Final Cut Pro projects, but not yet.
Complete trust and all in doesn’t mean what it used to mean.