Friday, December 23, 2011

Difference between iCloud and Dropbox

iCloud was just launched by Apple for about two months ago with iOS5, but a lot of criticisms about it already.

I think most of people complaining iCloud because they couldn’t use iCloud as Dropbox. Dropbox is a mature cloud service, which people can save and access files from a computer, iOS, Android, Blackberry… It is more like a skydrive, and you can save any kind of files into Dropbox. On the other hand, iCloud is very similar to other Apple’s software, e.g. iTunes, and App Store, which serves Apple’s hardware, e.g, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac. All of Apple’s software and hardware help each other, and all together they form a unique strong empire of “Apple”.

With iCloud, iOS users can backup, restore and even update to newer iOS by air, “Cut the Cable”. If user buys music or app from one Apple device, all the purchases can be installed into user’s other Apple devices from iCloud. It is really convenient. Another good selling point of iCloud, is about document or data synchronizing, for instance Mail, iCal, iWork, PhotoStreams. Have to emphasize iWork here because most of professionals care about it. You can work on your Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes files with any iOS or mac OS devices, and all the updates from one device will be automatically updated to other devices.

iCloud has brought us a lot of convenience and efficiency improvements. However, I hope it can be more open.

1. That would be great if they can build up a client-end application for computer, where user can interact with their iCloud files more easily instead of going to and keying Apple ID and password every time.
2. That would be great if they can allow my App “Save to Cloud to appear in their or the future iCloud Application that I talked in point 1. “Save to Cloud” is mainly helping user put some documents (Any kind of documents) into iCloud and access them with any iOS devices. 5GB free space, user can put a lot of stuff there. I was thinking Apple might do it in the way of Dropbox that user can freely use it as a skydrive from different OS. I have recently realized that this is not possible because it is not Apple anymore if they do so. Apple is closed but open. Closed, means they won’t let Android or Window 7 to access iCloud or let Microsoft Office or other non-Apple’s Application to apprear in While open, means they open up iCloud API to iOS and Mac developers. Developer can access iCloud within their application

To sum up, Apple’s iCloud is doing good in Apple’s way. Dropbox is unbeatable as a skydrive. However, iCloud is so young, and Apple is hiring a lot of talents for iCloud business, so let’s waiting for something surprising to happen.

So, I have decided to work hard to give “Save to Cloud” users more convenience during interacting with iCloud documents, I will develop a separate App for Mac. Some news saying Apple may open iCloud API to Windows PC. Well. If that is true, I will develop an application for Windows.