Are you ready to put what remains of your personal computing life in the cloud? Thanks to iCloud, you’re almost there already. More and more of the files we once saved locally get saved and work better in the cloud.
Microsoft claims they will have nearly 70-percent of Office users storing files and using OneDrive and other cloud resources within a couple of years. Already, Apple has nearly 1-billion cloud customers. The cloud is here. It’s the future. I love it. I hate it.
Touch And Feel
There was a time when we personal computer users could touch and feel our files. Well, it seemed as if they could be touched, all thanks to floppy disk drives. Back in the day PC users stored everything on floppy disks. We could touch them, feel them, move them, store them.
That was the last of the good old days as digital storage moved from floppies to hard disk drives and more recently to solid state devices now available in every computer Apple makes, including Watch (up to 16GB).
Now comes another revolution whereby SSD storage on our devices is less important than storing files in the cloud. This trend will not go away. Cloud storage is the future that is here now.
I pay Apple $2.99 plus tax for 200GB of iCloud storage. That means all my Mac’s Documents and Desktop files, all of my Photos and movies, and all my settings of every sort from every Apple device are stored in iCloud. Were it not for some rather hefty and large iMovie projects I could store it all in the cloud and access it all from any Apple device– Mac, iPhone, iPad.
$2.99 a month. $7 a month more and I can get 2TB of iCloud storage and everything– even a generation of movie files– could be stored online, available almost everywhere. Photos, movies, files. Thanks to iCloud Drive and the new Files app in iOS 11, those files are accessible on each device. New files and photos are uploaded automatically and synchronized with other devices.
What’s not to like?
First, there is no touch and feel. I may know my files are stored online or on a local disk with sufficient capacity, but unlike a floppy disk drive, storage has become an abstract affair.
Second, the fear. Yes, there is fear involved with storing files online, though it’s obvious that Apple has both greater capacity, better security, and improved backup capability that goes far beyond my USB disk attached to my Mac.
Third, the price, though I have fewer concerns with iCloud storage than I have with cloud-based applications that require a subscription. Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office come to mind and that trend can be costly over time. For example, including iCloud storage (2TB for $10 a month), Microsoft’s Office for $10 a month comes with 1TB of OneDrive storage. All of Adobe’s Creative Cloud can be had for $50 a month, but many, including yours truly, settle for Photoshop and Lightroom at $10 a month. Combined, that’s more than 3TB of online storage, state of the art office applications and photo management apps for a combined subscription fee of about $30 a month. Add $10 and get 30-million songs on Apple Music. Pay by the month. Forever.
Is that worth it?
That’s where the technology world is going. Online storage and subscription apps. Pay by the month. Subscribe to everything else.