What it Means to Not Trust iCloud Any More

I recently wrote about how I had to resort to applied geekery to recover data that iCloud lost, and how I really, seriously think that Apple should make Time Machine for iOS.

Because of this incident, and others, I’ve realized that I simply don’t trust iCloud any more. I know lots of people who have lost data and don’t trust it either.

Today, I was browsing an RSS feed of new iOS apps, one of which touted “Syncs via iCloud.” And, for the first time, I just passed it by, because iCloud is no longer a selling point, but rather a reason to avoid an app. It’s entirely possible that the app can also sync its data via Dropbox, but I didn’t see that in the capsule description.

For people who have been burned by iCloud, this is now a reason to avoid apps. App developers should think about this; they’ll be losing sales as more people distrust Apple’s cloud. Granted, those who have lost data may still be in the minority, but as long as there’s no way to get it back – without some substantial hoop-jumping – I won’t trust any of my data there. And I won’t buy any apps that sync to iCloud.

12 thoughts on “What it Means to Not Trust iCloud Any More

  1. I had simple notes in the notes app and spreadsheets in Numbers that disappeared. I was using iCloud in both cases. Turned off iCloud for any app that could use it. I refuse to turn it back on. Definitely would never use it for photos. I switched to Simplenote which has it’s own syncing that works.

  2. I had simple notes in the notes app and spreadsheets in Numbers that disappeared. I was using iCloud in both cases. Turned off iCloud for any app that could use it. I refuse to turn it back on. Definitely would never use it for photos. I switched to Simplenote which has it’s own syncing that works.

  3. For some reason, I’m still dumb enough to keep using iCloud, despite all the stories I hear. I’m even dumb enough to be looking forward to Photos in the cloud. I mean, I’m not dumb enough to ignore the need for a very secure backup of said photos….

    This is exactly the kind of thing people are talking about when they talk about how Apple’s lost it, or “lost the functional high ground” to quote Marco Arment. It’s exactly these issues — the ones that happen to a whole bunch of people, but are not widespread enough to cause a general “holy @#$#@ we better do something about this!” response from Apple — that constitute the problem. Maybe they’re hard to replicate in testing environments and whatnot, but damnit, Apple. Surely this stuff has happened to people in your own buildings. Get on it!

  4. For some reason, I’m still dumb enough to keep using iCloud, despite all the stories I hear. I’m even dumb enough to be looking forward to Photos in the cloud. I mean, I’m not dumb enough to ignore the need for a very secure backup of said photos….

    This is exactly the kind of thing people are talking about when they talk about how Apple’s lost it, or “lost the functional high ground” to quote Marco Arment. It’s exactly these issues — the ones that happen to a whole bunch of people, but are not widespread enough to cause a general “holy @#$#@ we better do something about this!” response from Apple — that constitute the problem. Maybe they’re hard to replicate in testing environments and whatnot, but damnit, Apple. Surely this stuff has happened to people in your own buildings. Get on it!

  5. I use iCloud and support many people that do. I rate it higher than google for calendar and contacts sync because Google accounts have a bad habit of making duplicate entries when a sync stops halfway through due to moving out of wifi range, losing cell signal, etc. I haven’t had any data loss with iCloud myself, nor have the people I’ve worked on it with. That being said, the biggest problem with people I work with is that they forget their password, and iCloud basically locks you out after 3 misses.

  6. I use iCloud and support many people that do. I rate it higher than google for calendar and contacts sync because Google accounts have a bad habit of making duplicate entries when a sync stops halfway through due to moving out of wifi range, losing cell signal, etc. I haven’t had any data loss with iCloud myself, nor have the people I’ve worked on it with. That being said, the biggest problem with people I work with is that they forget their password, and iCloud basically locks you out after 3 misses.

  7. Well, hopefully this doesn’t bring bad luck but I have to say that I have not had any issues with iCloud synching since last summer.

    I have been using it with Day One, the usual Apple apps like Notes, Safari, and lightly with Numbers. No photos in any form yet.

    Nevertheless, I back everything up locally.

    • You back up locally what you can back up. That’s not the case for all apps, as I explained. I’m far less worried about, say, Numbers, where I have two files in iCloud, because there are local Time Machine backups. But when the data is locked in a database or other non-accessible format, it’s too risky.

  8. Well, hopefully this doesn’t bring bad luck but I have to say that I have not had any issues with iCloud synching since last summer.

    I have been using it with Day One, the usual Apple apps like Notes, Safari, and lightly with Numbers. No photos in any form yet.

    Nevertheless, I back everything up locally.

    • You back up locally what you can back up. That’s not the case for all apps, as I explained. I’m far less worried about, say, Numbers, where I have two files in iCloud, because there are local Time Machine backups. But when the data is locked in a database or other non-accessible format, it’s too risky.

  9. Is this really a new issue? ICloud’s precursor MobileMe had similar issues. Didn’t Steve Jobs at an internal meeting once ask his engineers what MobileMe was supposed to do and when told said “Well then why the f*** doesn’t it do it?” Maybe an apocryphal story but I think he even wrote one of his apple.com page 1 apology letters about MobileMe failures.

  10. Is this really a new issue? ICloud’s precursor MobileMe had similar issues. Didn’t Steve Jobs at an internal meeting once ask his engineers what MobileMe was supposed to do and when told said “Well then why the f*** doesn’t it do it?” Maybe an apocryphal story but I think he even wrote one of his apple.com page 1 apology letters about MobileMe failures.

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