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Thursday, June 16, 2011

iCloud Is Lame, Stay With Dropbox

I feel silly now, but I was pretty excited when Apple (and Steve Jobs) announced iCloud just the other day (June 6, 2011, to be exact). Given the quality of their other products (iPhone et al), I had high expectations. But this is a truly mediocre effort and a premature announcement.

How did I arrive at this controversial conclusion? I installed iCloud on my desktop (also known as CloudMe, why can't Apple pick a name and stick with it?). I also installed the CloudMe sister app on my iPhone so that I could review the integration across devices. To my dismay, I discovered that iCloud is, in fact, no more than a file upload facility, whereas Dropbox is a true file sync tool. One saving grace is that it works at the folder level. You tell it which folders to track on your device, let's say your desktop. And if it sees a new file in one of the folders you've asked it to track, it will upload the file to the cloud. However, and this is where Dropbox leaves iCloud in the dust, if you remove one of the previously uploaded files, iCloud will not remove it from the cloud! So, other devices will continue to have the redundant file. And, wait for it, it gets worse. If you rename a previously uploaded file, iCloud assumes it is a new file and uploads it. Duh! The file with the old name also continues to live on the cloud. As far as I'm concerned, iCloud offers absolutely nothing that I don't already have with Dropbox and does a worse job of it. And Dropbox has an awesomely functional iPhone app to go along with it.

In this context, I will share a philosophy that I solidly believe in. A company can only be successful at a few chosen things. As soon as a company starts to get in on everything that seems like too big a market to ignore, its value proposition is sure to shrink. And in this case, Apple has caused me to doubt whether all of its products are equally superb and reliable.

5 comments:

  1. Brilliant writing...journalistic...:)

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  2. I am also agree with this..dropbox is really awesome than icloud..

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  3. Um... you know that CloudMe is a separate service, right? Apple bought the "iCloud" name, so that service changed its name to "CloudMe". The product you're describing isn't the Apple one, it's this one:
    http://www.cloudme.com/en

    This is iCloud:
    http://www.apple.com/icloud/

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  4. Okay, thank you for the clarification. It's all a bit confusing with the name changes and what not. So, yes, I am referring to CloudMe (formerly icloud) by Xcerion. Apple's iCloud has not yet released an iPhone app (coming this fall). Whew!

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  5. Right Puneet...Your blog looks cool but is very slow from here...dropbox...
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2011/10/18/dropbox-the-inside-story-of-techs-hottest-startup/

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