Even the Amazon Echo and Alexa have been replaced by HomePod. So, what kind of backup system do we have? Well, it’s a convoluted and somewhat complex mixture of iCloud, Dropbox, Amazon, external disk drives, and critical files copied between Macs. Yes, that includes iCloud and Mac backups for each iPad and iPhone.
Last week I read fellow colleague Jeffrey Mincey’s article In Search Of A Better Mac Backup System and then shared it with my husband, Ben. Jeffrey’s backup system resembles ours and his analysis on Apple’s iOS device backup system was spot on. While he– and we– has multiple devices backed up multiple ways in a convoluted mixture of gadgets and online systems– his neighbor just used iCloud to restore to new iPhones and iPad with ease.
That’s a backup system to love.
If all you own is an iPhone or an iPad then just about all you need is iCloud to backup just about everything. That means photos and videos can be backed up with ease; overnight even. Settings? They go to iCloud. Apps? They get downloaded again, even placed in the right folders, if you need to install your account to a new device because you lost or shattered the old iPhone or iPad.
Compare that to the aforementioned convention of backup components. iCloud, Dropbox, Amazon, multiple Macs, iOS to Mac backups, external disk drives for clones, synced critical files between Macs.
Good golly Molly. What’s wrong?
That’s the reason Jeffrey has so many components in his backup scheme (I emailed him to ask) and fear is the reason we have a similar system at home. We are afraid to lose files, lose photos, lose anything– so we keep everything in as many places as we can afford.
What did Apple do to make passwords something of a thing of the past for smartphone users? Touch ID. Face ID. The marriage of convenience and improved security. Sure, everyone knows a complicated, complex, hard-to-remember password is better for security, but it’s exactly that complexity which causes millions of device owners and account users to opt in for 123456 or admin or password as their passwords of choice.
Apple fixed that with Touch ID and Face ID. Convenience met improved security.
Apple kinda sorta mostly has something similar for backups with iCloud. Yeah, I know, 5GB for free isn’t enough storage for any biped but it’s not like iCloud is expensive anymore. iCloud backup is the way a backup should work. It just works. It’s seamless, behind the scenes, easily restored.
What keeps me from simply using iCloud for everything?
So, I have all my photos in Photos which is synced to iCloud from the Mac to all other devices. The Mac acts as the gatekeeper, the master. I put Desktop files and Documents folders and files into iCloud, too. But the Mac is the master and my fear of losing anything means multiple backups of the master files scattered hither and yon.
I want to go all in on a single backup system, but I can’t because fear rules. That’s why I cannot go all in on iCloud for my backup system. Jeffrey’s neighbor carries a degree of naiveté which is refreshing. I should be so naive. It would save a lot of time and headache.