Spent some part of the Sunday playing around with iCloud, checking if it makes my multi-device syncing life any better. By the end of it, I had pretty much switched most of the iCloud services off. And here’s why. But first, some context:
1. I use mainly 3 iDevices – MacBook pro, iPad 1 and iPhone 4.
2. I sync my contacts with Google contacts (through iTunes, not over the air), Notes using my iMap email account, and use Google Calendar for my appointments.
And my problems with ICloud:
1. If I switch on Contacts in iCloud, it shows me all my 1700-odd contacts twice on my MBP.
2. I cannot sync my contacts with Google then. Which is not good because not only does Google Contacts serve as a nice “non-Apple” back-up of my contacts, it gives me all my contacts for use with my gmail account. If I sync with iCloud, I will not have my updated contacts in gmail.
3. Turning on iCloud for calendar moves my Mac calendar to the cloud. Which is fine, but the reason I use Google calendar is because it allows me to invite attendees when setting up a meeting from my iPhone. Which a regular account on the iPhone does not allow, god knows why! So it does not help me eliminate google calendar.
UPDATE: Actually with iCloud I can now invite attendees for meetings from iPhone, so I have moved from Google Calendar to iCloud Calendar.
4. Mail and Notes requires me to set up a .me account. Can do without another new account. Am happy with my office, gmail, hotmail and tandon.org accounts. So my office iMap account works fine for these. Notes on iMap works exactly like iCloud and syncs across all my iDevices.
5. Back on the cloud: nice idea but I like the convenience of having a back-up at hand locally whenever I need it (and I HAVE needed it from time to time), whenever I need to retrieve and old SMS or data. So i prefer to back up through iTunes sync. Plus with backups on, the 5GB free limit gets used up pretty quickly.
So for now, I am only using iCloud for PhotoStream and Documents (mainly keynote). Maybe iCloud requires a mind shift and change in habits. Will definitely revisit in a few days.
What’s your experience like with iCloud?