How many iCloud users does Apple have these days? Based on my unofficial survey of the Mincey Clan and Plantation family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, I’m going out on a limb and say about 700-million.
Apple claims to have 1.3-billion or so active devices, and since many of us have Mac, iPhone, and or iPad, hundreds of millions of Apple ID accounts seems reasonable, and that translates into hundreds of millions of iCloud users. After a few years of struggle, I have come to like iCloud but it could use some of my patented Mincey Suggestions.™
Somewhere in mid-2017 I jumped into iCloud with both feet. First, one foot was moving Photos photos to iCloud. The Photos master remains on a Mac which is backed up in a number of locations and on different devices. Later in the year I put the other foot out by adding Documents and Desktop to iCloud.
Whole hog. Both feet. Everything is in iCloud these days. iCloud Drive for the Macs and the Files app for iPhone and iPad. No, iCloud is not as fast to sync or as reliable as Dropbox, but it is competitive with any major cloud vendor on price and capability. $10 a month for 2TB of storage. That works.
What does iCloud need?
Shared Folders – Other than the aforementioned faster sync and reliability, iCloud could use Shared folders. Dropbox has it. Google One (used to be Google Drive) has it. Why can’t I assign a specific folder and password to someone and drop files whenever I choose?
Public Links – This is somewhat akin to a public folder or personal dropbox, but should work the way it does in Dropbox. A Shared Link works in iCloud Drive but it’s a pain with multiple steps whereas with Dropbox is a simple right-click.
Offline & Online – The way iCloud works for file storage is simple. Everything gets stored on the Mac, but most files need to be downloaded to iPhone and iPad. If you’re offline, no files for you! How about a way to identify which iCloud files can be stored on which device?
Recover & Restore – Many of the aforementioned in my unofficial survey did not know iCloud has a backup system and files can be restored. Let’s hope you never need it because it is not for the faint of heart or non-Job-like Mac users. Why not make recover and restore from iCloud work like Time Machine?
Apple remains competitive with online storage prices, and probably leads Dropbox with app integration, and iCloud is easier to integrate into a Mac-iPhone-iPad ecosystem than Google One or Microsoft OneDrive– unless you go whole hog into their ecosystems (and I’m not willing to do that).
One. More. Thing.™
Files. If you have an app on your Mac that can display invisible files, and you visit iCloud Drive, you will see many folders of files which are no longer attached to applications you use on any device. I found dozens on my Mac. Apple has no easy way to clean up and discard those folders and files. That needs to be fixed.