Moving to the iCloud

I signed up for MobileMe back in 2003, when it was still called .Mac. Ever since it was pretty much a part of my daily life for the last 8 years. My primary email is @mac.com, back then it was especially cool because everyone was still on Hotmail and I had my flashy mac.com domain. I had my first and second websites built and hosted on .Mac/MobileMe. Over the years it changed, evolved and only got better.

iCloud has been out since 12th of October, but I’ve been holding off upgrading because I didn’t want to be an early adopter and I didn’t have much free time anyway. MobileMe was heavily criticised for it’s problems at launch. I have to say that I’ve never had problems with MobileMe and it was working smoothly for me since day one but this time I’ve decided not to risk it.

But by this time the move was already long overdue and I finally decided to do it. iCloud offers many benefits over MobileMe so there is no point in waiting. The process itself was fast and painless and it was over in no time.

What I’m really exited about is Documents in the Cloud. I commute between Brighton and London regularly so I end up writing quite a lot of my work on the train. Although I love writing on the iPad, it’s getting the files out of it used to be difficult. I used iTunes file transfer or sometimes emailed myself, but both ways are far from ideal. iTunes file transfer is cumbersome and sending myself an email just doesn’t make sense. Of course this weren’t the only two methods available but all of them are far from being seamless. And seamless is what iCloud does best. Now all my files are pushed to my iPad, iPhone and the web and best of all I don’t have to do anything, documents are uploaded and updated automatically. I only wish Apple would add tight iCloud integration to iWork for Mac, but it will probably be in the next version. The current version of iWork was released in January 2009 so an update is probably due soon.

Another cool feature is automatic backups of data and settings to the iCloud. Backups have never been an issue for me because I do tend to sync regularly, but I know a few people who do not. Backups start when device is plugged in, on Wi-Fi network and locked which pretty much means at night when you are not using your device, very convenient. And it would save a lot of people massive headaches when something goes wrong.

I haven’t turned on Photo Stream yet as I need to first sort out Camera Rolls on iPhone and iPad, but having recent photos pushed across all my devices does sounds very promising!

iCloud is amazing as it is, but it’s only set to get better as more and more developers integrate it in to their products. A quick search on App Store already shows some great examples of iCloud integration, I’m excited to see what comes next!

Screenshot of MobileMe control panel before moving, showing my join date.

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