I updated my MacBook Pro with the latest Lion update and my iPad to iOS5. This brings with it the much-heralded iCloud. But I’m not exclusively a Mac user, so I’m not convinced it’ll be particularly useful. I don’t have an iPhone (or any other phone for that matter). I only have one iOS device, a first generation iPad (so sharing purchased apps seems pretty unimportant!). I don’t buy music from iTunes. I don’t use the dreadful iTunes desktop app to manage my music – indeed I ditched a 2nd generation iPod Touch in favour of a Cowon music player to escape iTunes. This seems to limit any real utility for iCloud. Apparently I can:
Synchronise my Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Notes. Well, that happens already, doesn’t it? I have a variety of email accounts that I access wherever I am, either through mobile broadband or WiFi. And my iPad notes turn up in my gmail account (which I can access on any computer).
Bookmarks. This refers to Safari, which I rarely (if ever) use, and then only on my single iOS device. On all of my other computers, I use Chrome, which synchronises my bookmarks to all my devices (except the iPad) – whether they be Linux, OS X or Windows.
Photo Stream. No idea what this is for, it doesn’t say, and my installed iPhoto is too primitive to take advantage of it anyway.
Documents & Data. Well, this might have been worthwhile for Pages, Keynote and Numbers, where I have the iOS and OS X versions. However, since I cannot see a way to share files between OS X and iOS devices, and given that I have but a single iOS device, I cannot see what I can share these files with. But for everything else, I don’t think I can share with Linux, so any advantage over Dropbox is questionable. At least I can use Dropbox to transfer files to my iPad!
Back to my Mac.
Don’t know what this is. Apparently this is to connect with a desktop Mac.
Back to My Mac lets anyone with an Apple ID connect remotely to their home or office Mac over the Internet and control the keyboard, pointer and file system.
Ho hum. Only really useful for those fully assimilated into the Apple collective. My office PC runs Ubuntu Linux, as does my home desktop PC and my Mythbuntu PVR. I can (and do) get to these through other applications that use standard VNC protocols, using either my iPad or my MacBook, or my Ubuntu notebook.
Find my Mac. I think this is a way of tracking a Mac if it goes AWOL. Could be useful, but I already have a third party app for this.
I am rather underwhelmed.
Oh, but isn’t today Ubuntu 11.10 release day?