'In Defense of iCloud'

Ben Bajarin, writing for Tech.pinions, sings the praises of iCloud syncing:

Apple has heavily promoted the synchronization features of iCloud in many commercials. The idea of taking a photo on your iPhone and having that photo almost instantly show up on your Mac or iPad. Starting writing a document with Pages on your iPad and it picks up right where you left off with on your Mac. Any and all changes on one device are mirrored on all your other screens. When I only had one primary compute screen–the PC–this was not an issue. I only used one screen. But once I started bringing a number of compute devices into my life, cloud synchronization of key data became essential.

[...]

This is an extremely strong value proposition for consumers. When we interview first time customers to Apple’s ecosystem, often iCloud synchronization of things like photos come up as a highlight of their experience.

Apple gets a lot of (well-deserved) shit for iCloud — "they're not good at services" — but Bajarin is right that the KeyValue API does work pretty damn well. Like Bajarin, I love that I'm able to move from Tweetbot on my iPhone to Tweetbot on my Mac, and my place in my timeline is synced across devices. Likewise, in using Ulysses III and Daedalus Touch lately for my long-form writing, I'm impressed with how well iCloud document syncing works. Whether it be my timeline or an article I'm working on, it always feels genuinely magical to see my data seamlessly appear.

Overall, Bajarin's piece serves as a reminder that iCloud is, in reality, two different things: there's the developer-facing iCloud and there's the consumer-facing iCloud. While it's obvious that both are intertwined, the point that Bajarin makes in his piece is that the sync portion of it is pretty great and should be lauded. That seamless interoperability resonates big time with consumers.

(via Matthew Panzarino)