For much of my early life as a taxpaying adult I lived on the cutting edge of technology. Sometimes the bleeding edge. Like Voltaire’s Candide, I once was willing to try the best of all possible worlds whenever it came along, and they came along often.
Plenty of history, too much experience, and an occasional whopper of a credit card balance have taught me that being first in line has consequences. The first mover advantage is overrated. The pioneers got the arrows while the settlers took the land. Maybe that explains why Apple seems slow to jump onto the trend bandwagon.
With much deliberation and a few toes in the water, iCloud is now my data home. Toes in the water? It started a few years ago with Calendar, Contacts, Bookmarks, and passwords from Keychain. Then I added files here and there to sync up between multiple Macs. More toes were added in the past year with Photos and some extra storage (thank you, Apple, for dropping the price tag enough to entice me to make a long awaited changed).
Open System Preferences on your Mac, click the iCloud button, Click Photos, and then select iCloud Photo Library. In a few days– if you have tens of dozens of gigabytes of photos and movies stuffed into Photos– all of it will be stored in iCloud and possibly downloaded to other Macs, iPhone, and iPad.
It works. And it worked.
The second option was iCloud Drive, which is little more than a window in the Finder that displays and gives you access to whatever files you have that need to be shared or synchronized between devices. In this case, iCloud makes a decent backup. Open System Preferences again, click on iCloud, then select Options next to iCloud Drive. Typical Apple, but the options are nominal.
Generally you’ll see a list of apps which use iCloud; Messages, Mail, Reminders, and probably many others. The important option is at the top in Desktop & Documents Folders. Click that and in a day or two whatever you store on your Mac’s Desktop and within the Documents folder finds its way to iCloud, and again, gets synced up with other devices.
So far, so good.
The only two issues that remain in my iCloud project are the movies in iMovie, and music in iTunes. I’m not quite sure what to do here. I use iMovie for projects, and once I’m done editing a movie it gets stuffed into Photos for storage and that’s taken care of by iCloud Drive, so that isn’t as much of an issue. As to iTunes, I use Apple Music now (pay by the month for life; that’s the new trend in personal computing in the 21st century), but I have a collection of nearly 4,000 songs saved from the vinyl, cassette tape, CD, DVD, and Napster era. For now, they’re stored locally and backed up, but if Apple drops the iCloud price tag once more they’re likely to go online, too.
Again, so far, so good.
Don’t let anyone tell you Apple’s iCloud is crummy or not as robust as others on the market. iCloud has competitive pricing agains Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and even Amazon AWS. Plus, iCloud integrates very well with Apple’s devices and applications, as well as many of the third party apps that are popular.
After more than my share of tip toes in the water, I’m probably floating now, ready for a complete across the pool swim. If I don’t drown first. Plenty of pioneers drowned, you know. Settlers, too.