Feeds

back to article 'Sacrifice another goat!: iCloud is Apple's biggest failure before Google

For a company that prides itself on craftsmanship and a beautiful user experience, Apple's cloud services continue to be more than a blemish on the company's reputation. They are a serious black hole. Google, meanwhile, was born in the cloud, and it shows: things like document and calendar synchronisation just work, and across a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Well...

You have to remember that they are a patents and marketing company. I don't think they have many professional programming staff, that's why they've been producing just minor variants on the same OS for at least 10 years now.

19
22
Anonymous Coward

Re: Well...

...and Google are an advertising company with a sideline in search.

Everyone has been producing minor variants of an OS for decades, it's called Unix.

The only company with a truly original codebase these days is Microsoft. Sadly BeOS, AmigaOS, RiscOS and others are no longer in the mainstream or being developed.

17
5

Microsoft has an original codebase, but...

...modern Windows (i.e. NT and its descendants) didn't originate with Microsoft; Mark Russinovich has the whole story. (For the attention-deficit crowd, what became Windows NT was born as DEC's anointed successor to VMS, and when DEC killed the project most of the team decamped to Redmond at Mr. Gates' invitation. Your Windows 7 box may not look like a VAX from the outside, but from the inside...)

8
3
Unhappy

android syncs across devices?

hmm, I was just bemoaning the inability of my android phone to sync the calendar with my gmail account and wondering about switching to apple, thinking "well it's expensive but at least the basics would work seamlessly"

So maybe I'm better off sitting where I am and waiting for android to get better. What I really want for android though is an app that makes it work as a mobile phone - that's the thing Nokia always understood and I miss it like crazy.

3
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: android syncs across devices?

Maybe you're thinking at it from the device-centric point of view - you should have your calendar on the cloud and sync to the device. This is the theme of the article. Doing this means you calendar syncs seamlessly on your Android phone, PC, tablet etc.

If you can't manage this - and by your comment of not being able to use you device as a phone, perhaps this is the case - then maybe you are a bit confused by technology. Perhaps a Nokia dumbphone and a little paper diary might help you manage a little better?

13
9
Silver badge

Re: android syncs across devices?

Even when it's seamless, there are a few things Google doesn't do well. Eg. If you have 2 or more calendars then an invite in Gmail will still become an appointment in your default calendar. I tried in Android (2.3) to send 2 photos from a cloud gallery in a single email, either as links or attachments. Only one can be done.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Really?

I have my calendar and contacts synced between Chrome on Windows 7, a Blackberry Playbook and an HP Pre 3. When I was using an Android tablet, that synced too. I find the comments of the author accurate and to the point. I have difficulty understanding what you might be doing.

1
0

Re: android syncs across devices?

What exactly happens for you? Assuming you have your Google account registered on your phone (Settings > Accounts) and marked to background sync, anything you add to the calendar for that account should be "instantly" available in your online Google Calendar and any other Google-powered devices.

I've had this across three Android devices for years and have aways found it to be completely hassle free.

I'm not saying it works 100% of the time, but I've not head before of it not working at all...

I'm looking forward to Google Music coming to the UK, to complete the multimedia cloud experience on Android.

1
0

I have to agree re Google

I am not particularly fond of Google's approach to many things but the technology really does work.

I've bought or been given almost every generation of portable computer including Newtons, Zodiacs, NetBooks, iPaqs, and iPods and nothing has ever come close to the simplicity of moving from one Android phone to another which was almost bafflingly straightforward for someone expecting a bit of hacking around.

I can't comment on Apple's own cloudiness but I use Google's services to keep my iPod Touch and my work Outlook in sync, it will even do contacts with my old Nokia phone.

Of course the upshot of this device coverage is that, like the author with his house full of Apple products, I don't feel tied to Google devices.

3
1
Bronze badge

Re: I have to agree re Google

> I am not particularly fond of Google's approach to many things but the technology really does work.

But for whom?

At ^n clicks of six thousand million switches, Google's underlords know all there is to know about everyone they want to know anything about.

No icon until we get get a Thatcher inane grin icon.

Come on you dolts!

You know it makes sense.

1
0
Thumb Up

iCloud works for me.

Sorry, but it does.

Seamless sync between iPhone, iPad, Android phone & PC running Win7 plus Outlook.

Calendar, contacts, photos, music all just sync.

21
2

Re: iCloud works for me.

Same here, it would be nice if the article author had put a bit more detail into what specifically iCloud was failing to do for him. I find my appointments, notes, documents, reminders, music, etc all sync very nicely. I've never had something not show up or a sync fail.

My only real criticism of iCloud is that parts of it aren't free (iTunes Match would be nice to have, but not nice enough that I'd pay for it) and that for no explicable reason if you switch iCloud sync on, your device will no longer automatically sync with your desktop, it has to be triggered manually. I don't really see why that restriction exists. Surely two automatic backups are better than one?!

12
0
Silver badge
WTF?

"never had a sync fail"

As an Android user, I've never had to sync. I win.

7
7
Silver badge

Re: iCloud works for me.

Ditto. iCloud hasn't glitched once and does the job perfectly.

Google Mail, on the other hand, STILL can't even do IMAP or CalDAV properly. I'd use the Microsoft Exchange option, but I'd much rather just switch to a company that can read a f*cking RFC every once in a while.

Speaking of Microsoft: that company includes Hotmail, which was doing free email long before Google thought of that particular "innovation". And Microsoft have been doing SaaS for years. 1&1 Internet will lease servers running Exchange and / or Sharepoint if you wish, and they've been offering that for a few years already. Exchange + Sharepoint crap all over Google's offerings. From orbit.

On top of which, Microsoft will even sell you all the components to run their complete "Office365" service in-house, on your own datacentre. That's the kind of control I like. Google don't offer anything anywhere near as good.

If it's the "cloud" and "SaaS" you're after, forget Google. Microsoft have been spanking their arses raw and bloody in the corporate space for years. Their consumer-space SaaS / Web-based offerings have been improving in leaps and bounds. Apple are in the business of selling hardware; I don't think they'll mind jumping into bed with Microsoft again if necessary. They've done it before.

That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for Google. If I were them, I wouldn't be popping the champagne corks just yet.

11
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: "never had a sync fail"

Maybe, Mr Craigness, because in your world google was never down, was it?

Unfortunately back in the real work where Google's ass doesn't shoot rainbows it fails quite often.

They even lose people's data! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/28/gmail_account_deletion_snafu/

5
5

Re: iCloud works for me.

Works for me too. "And when I stop reading in the Kindle app on my iPad 2 and pick up my Kindle Fire, I won't miss a beat." well, when I stop reading or listening on iPad I can pick iPhone and carry on where I left off. Synching of contacts, calendars, photos, notes all work.

Saving on iCloud is a synch in OS X 10.8 as it's right there as a tabbed choice in the save dialogue, you can also drag files there right from the Finder. It is strange at first having discreet sets of documents for each app but it's early days and I reverve judgement for a year, why should I see a .flv or .c4d file in textedit's open dialogue anyway?

7
0
Silver badge
WTF?

I still win

Seems that some people don't understand the way Google does things. Just because I don't have to sync, it doesn't follow that I'm not able to store my data on my own devices. Calendar, contacts, tasks, photos, videos and email sync with a variety of software on any hardware, even it's not rectangular, expensive and made from glass and aluminium. Non-Google-format docs sync with the Google Drive application and Google-format docs can be exported in open formats in a single zip file. Reader feeds etc can be exported too, no rainbows are involved. Everyone has a backup routine, don't they?

0
1
Silver badge

@Richard

Ubuntu has the best sync I've seen. Instead of having a vault that syncs everything within it, you can select folders to sync and then exclude files/subfolders from the sync if you wish. So there's no need to separate your documents between 2 separate locations as with Drive, Skydrive, Dropbox etc. And you can still open that .flv file with any media player of your choice, or even a hex editor.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: iCloud works for me.

Me too, I have never had any issues, and iTunes Match is awesome as well.

As for the former Apple engineer, did he not leave before the data centre went live?

I think Goole is great, but I still prefer iCloud over my Gmail though I continue to use both...

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: iCloud works for me.

You just try syncing Notes between devices - yes the tiny little uncomplex text files. Then report back here just how well iCloud works.

(For the impatient: it doesn't, it's a complete mess, either duplicating everything or deleting it. At random.)

0
3
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: iCloud works for me.

Aw, C'mon...

Can you EVER see any El Reg "journalist" writing ANYTHING positive or praiseworthy about Apple?

It appears that they now try to ape Ms Leach - who used to write for the Grauniad ('nuff said)...

3
2
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: iCloud works for me.

Microsoft bought in Hotmail when it was called HoTMaiL. There were several outages as they converted it from UNIX to Windows.

That said to their credit they've finally came round to SSL, POP3, and ActiveSync support although it took them long enough.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: iCloud works for me.

iCloud works fine - but I mourn the loss of MobileMe's email account settings sync.

1
0

Ms skydrive

Not defending apple because if nothing else i am a bit annoyed i cannot put any file i like in icloud.

But i did try both google and microsofts recent efforts, (and dropbox and sugar sync and tonido) and both google and microsofts efforts for me at least simply did not work. Microsoft was crippling slow, 100kb download. Googles in a perminant state of confusion as to what needed syncing.

Dropbox is best but a tenner a month. I cannot afford that. Tonido did not work and so far sugarsync has been fine.

But i really wish icloud was more tha it is. Athough i have to say my contacts, diary etc has touch wood be perfect.

3
2
Thumb Up

Re: Ms skydrive

Open Internet Explorer

Tools > Internet Options > Connections tab > LAN Settings button

Unitck "Automatically detect settings", Click OK to finish and close IE.

Speed issue solved.

1
2

Google provides a free service in which the data lives on Google servers and can be mined and destroyed at the will of google. We have seen cases where people have losed access to their data for really stupid and arbitrary reasons. If data is not critical, Google is a good choice.

Apple, with iToos and successors, provides a paid service in which contacts, calendars, mail, personal information, and files are synchronized among computers. In my experience over the past 10 years or so I have not lost data. Sometimes there has been issues, but I have had up to three computers in sync. In addition, I have been able to manage family computers remotely using Mobileme.

These are two different products, and unfortunately with the introduction of iOS, the toolchain became broken and Mobileme no longer worked as well as it did. So a good product is gone.

I see nothing that great about iCloud, except it is not google, so I have some level of confidence that my data is not be mined and advertisements are not going to be targeted based on email. iCloud no long synchs mail between Mac and iOS devices, which sucks. it no longer helps me manage passwords, which can cost $50 per device. OTOH, the App store now lets me share purchases across all macs.

I am not saying iCloud is good, it seems to suck. Mobileme really helped me manage data much more transparently than Google dropbox or anyone else. I also have a personal webdav server which I could use but it is not as transparent as Mobileme. Now that Mobileme is gone I might make it work.

What would make me a google fan is if they updated the Google Docs. This could be the new killer app for google. However, they are missing some quite fundamental features on the application. For examples, graphing has few advanced options, and the presentation cannot change slide size.

3
0
FAIL

Funny that I read this just after trying to upload my music collection to Google's cloud, so I can use it on my Nexus 7 (not enough local storage on the device for all my music and rest of the stuff)

Then I estimated - since the Google's Music Manager app doesn't show it, nice touch for a "web" company - the time it will take to upload my collection: 5 days.

That's at least 4.7 DAYS slower than when I used the similar service in iCloud... fortunately not long after finding this Goole's Music Manager froze up completely (should get an award for shittiest app ever), leading me to completely give up on that idea.

6
4

Re +++Ath0

Have you not stopped to consider how your music collection gets into the cloud? Via magic pixie dust transfer or using your variable speed, quality and loaded wifi/Internet connection?

Even my pretty whizzy 30GB Virgin cable service only has an upload speed of 2MBit (that's only 256Kbytes remember and that will be throttled if I go outside the 9pm-10am unlimited time). So uploading my modest 20GB music collection would take days to complete no matter whose cloud service I decided to use.

So I would be amazed if uploading your music collection to iCloud only took 0.3 days unless it was very small. There was some network factor at work.

2
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Stop

Skydrive? I doubt I'd trust a cloud based on Windows servers (Azure or whatever).

I would.

Insecure.

Wrong

Prone to crashes.

Wrong

Slow.

Wrong - what are you, on dial-up or something?

Likely to be abandoned for next shiny new thing.

...which will be...the next version of Skydrive.

1
5

In fairness, Microsoft did already dump Windows Live Mesh (2008 edition) after a few years of use. They gave plenty of warning for users to rescue their files before they got deleted, but it would have been nice to have been able to have them transferred to another service instead (such as SkyDrive) before cancelling it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Strange...

I can't comment on Skydrive per se, but Windows Azure is a whole different ball game. Having used various hosting platforms in the past, I am very pleasantly surprised by the ease of configuration and the good default security, especially the simplicity of nodelocking connections to IP endpoints. And the speeds I am getting are good.

This is a pain in the backside because I am turning into a reluctant convert from the I-hate-Microsoft brigade. They really do seem to be starting to understand the way cloud services are going. Perhaps in ten years time they won't be dependent on flogging overpriced, overcomplex desktop programs and not very good phone operating systems any more, and I can appreciate their fast-improving SQL database and their non-dependence on flogging my data to dodgy advertisers.

0
0

I suppose it's just me

....but why do I find an article with this point of view from a competitor to be just a wee bit self-serving? I'm impressed Matt and his family have so much Apple kit, because he trashes the firm so regularly. I'm sorry if this sounds fanboi-ish, but I can't help thinking that any approach that makes cloud storage as transparent as possible to the user is better than what Google, Apple, and Microsoft have offered to date. Apple and Microsoft have made a brief nod in that direction, but mostly, for all three, it's been, "Ooh, look at us, we do stuff in the cloud," when most users aren't as awed as some techies with the breathless utterance of any marketing sentence with the word cloud in it.

6
0
Unhappy

Sorry but my mileage varied

Google just caused a load of sync problems, duplicating events and contacts. Icloud just works (for me). Some analysis would've supported the suthor's arguments but I guess neither the fruteloops or the chocfans like to give out that sort of data.

6
2

Currently sharing content between three Android devices, desktop pc, and a netbook. It is effortless with Google, my calendar, mail, documents and photos are just there. I logged on with my new Nexus 7 and my contacts, and calendar were populated, photos were on Drive as soon as I logged in, books were ready to download as soon as I wanted to read them.

I use dropbox as well for a selection of music, so it didn't take long for that to be set up on the Nexus 7 as well.

I've watched people struggle with iCloud and iTunes, I'll pass on that.

3
3
Anonymous Coward

In an occasionally connected world

" In a hyper-connected world, devices continue to matter"

This relentless push towards "cloud computing" and software as a service ignores that the world is NOT yet hyper connected. There are plenty of places where your 3G device won't get signal and plenty of occasions when your home internet connection isn't connected.

Standlone install with connection on demand for me thanks.

9
0
PJI
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Re: In an occasionally connected world

Added to which: Internet/cloud dependency is all very well for the stay-at-homes and those always near free wi-fi. But you need deep pockets and to stay on the beaten track if you travel at all. Fat lot of good all your maps, pictures and books are in the cloud when you've got no connection or a kb of data costs as much as dinner for one.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

iCloud

Used as a backup it does work well, wife dropped her phone recently and restoring the new phone back was pretty painless. My main issue with Apple having multiple devices in a family is the issue of seperate accounts vs shared accounts and the ability to fine tune syncing across them.

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: iCloud

Agreed, I lost a phone when out and a little worse for the wear. When I replaced it the new iPhone was identical in every way to the one I lost before I left the apple shop including open tabs in the browser and half written drunk texts! Anyone who has restored a phone with iCloud will know how good it is.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: iCloud

Although to be fair you get the same functionality every time you sync your iPhone with iTunes on your computer, which, since I use my computer to charge my phone whenever I'm near it, is several times per day. No cloud necessary.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: iCloud

"Although to be fair you get the same functionality every time you sync your iPhone with iTunes on your computer"

No you don't, your computer has no idea about all the stuff that happens after you leave your house. As I said above I had unfinished texts and open browser tabs in my recovered phone which were from my night out.

0
0
Silver badge

@Matt Asay:

Enough with the tired "market share" straw-man. You know it's bollocks. We know it's bollocks.

A good CEO is only interested in profits—they're running a business, not a charity. There is no "tablet" market. There is only the iPad market... and a much smaller niche with some cheap knock-offs selling at half the price for a third of the features.

Sure, iCloud may yet prove another flop—the night is young—but Apple have enough cash in the bank to just buy their way into the market if need be. Though I suspect they'll just ask Microsoft to let them rebrand some of their offerings instead. They already did it with AIM: Apple's "iChat" instant messaging service relied on the AIM protocol and back-end behind the scenes.

9
5

Re: @Matt Asay:

He's an FOSS guy so he's used to existing on charity

5
0

Re: @Matt Asay:

Microsoft had enough money to buy their way back into search, Google had enough money to buy their way into social networking, neither have had much success in their respective attempts, and neither will Apple. Doesn't matter how much cash they throw at it the cloud will always be a struggle for a company whose success is based on making shiny toys.

2
0
Megaphone

iCloud good for personal

A friend of mine has restored apps and backups from iCloud to his iPhone several times and is happy with it. I found the what it would backup bit confusing when moving to iOS5 so have disabled it on the iPhone (so it's not backing up my photos). I sync photos to my Macbook using a USB lead and iPhoto, and am happy that my Apple ID means if I download a song from the iTunes store on one device the other gets it next time I'm on wifi (no 3G at work due to faradays cage office).

I read somewhere Apple's own advice for enterprise however, was not to trust it. I was looking at what was the best platform for syncing educational-owned iPads which is a big PITA in establishments, and we concluded Dropbox was the best bet for non-confidential data (as they are not safe harbour, even though Amazon S3 which Dropbox sits on is actually SH and so is Google).

2
0
odb
Thumb Down

A single example?

Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see a single example of iCloud not working in this entire article.

Apparently he didn't like something about the iTunes music syncing with his son's music and "turned it off".

12
0

Google isn't the pinnacle of cloud sync, Dropbox is

One simple thing makes me dispute that "cloud in, not device out" is the right way to think about sync/cloud: Dropbox.

It's superior to anybody else's offering as far as I'm concerned, and it starts with your device. Personally, I don't want my data dependent on the cloud. The cloud has its problems too. I like that Dropbox makes a copy of my files on every computer I sync. It's essentially sync + remote backup + online access + device access. What's not to love?

That said, while Apple has been horrible at generic document/file sync, I've been using their services long enough to have a mac.com e-mail address, and contacts/calendars/bookmarks/notes all sync pretty much flawlessly, with the occasional glitch along the way as everyone has.

I'll grant that their music approach leaves a lot to be desired, but that seems more the product of bad decisions than bad tech. The worst thing about iCloud by far isn't iCloud per se but Apple IDs. They need to create a process whereby people can merge past IDs created through mac.com, Mobile Me, iTunes store, and iCloud into one.

6
0

Re: Google isn't the pinnacle of cloud sync, Dropbox is

It baffles me that DropBox gets the praise it does. You can't edit and save work on Apple apps like Pages and Keynote remotely. On the iPad for example, ou need to open Dropbox, access your file, then open it in the host app then save it on the iPad. Then transfer it over when you get to your main machine.

I'm really hoping OsX 10.8 allows for proper Cloud storage (with folders and so on) but with a local version remaining for when in offline areas.

Basically a version of DropBox that works with Apple apps...

2
0
Headmaster

"iCloud is Apple's biggest failure before Google"

... before Google what?

3
0

How do you input the data then?

You have to start on a device somewhere.

iCloud works perfectly for me across multiple devices.

4
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.