1. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    I recently returned to the iPhone after a couple years with BlackBerry (I wish them well, but they've drifted too far away from where I want to go with my tech). After nearly 2 weeks on an iPhone, I think it's safe to say I'm a born-again Apple fan. I'm looking at eventually getting a MacBook and probably an iPad. And I'm definitely interested in the new, improved Apple TV coming out.

    So I'm weighing Apple's iCloud products against the ones I currently use. I've got some questions for the Apple veterans here.

    Specifically, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, opinions, and experiences with:

    • iCloud Email, Contacts, & Calendar
    • iCloud Drive
    • iCloud Photos
    • iCloud Pages, Numbers, & Keynote
    • iTunes Match


    I'm trying to see if there are any advantages I haven't thought of to using these over the products I currently use. I really like the sleek, simple, ad-free interface of the iCloud website and apps. And they integrate so well with my iPhone.

    Currently for email, contacts, and Calendar I'm using Microsoft's cloud-based offerings through Outlook dot com. That's worked out well for me so far, and I'm pretty happy with it.

    For cloud storage I have several accounts, including DropBox and Box, but my go-to service has been OneDrive. I've managed to score 40 GB of free, permanent OneDrive storage over time and I'm currently sitting on an additional 100 GB of free promotional storage until February 2016. I wouldn't replace OneDrive with iCloud Drive, I'm just trying to decide if it's worth it to even use.

    For cloud-based photo services, I'm currently using Amazon Photo, which allows me unlimited photo storage thanks to my Amazon Prime subscription. It's not the most feature-rich service I've seen, but it works. And it's cross-platform compatible, which is nice. But I really like the features and interface I've seen with Apple's built-in photos app and iCloud Photos.

    When needed, I've been using Office Online (Word, Excel, and Power Point). Having nice, dedicated Office apps for iOS devices has been great. But I also really like the look and feel of Apple's Pages, Numbers, and Keynote mobile and online apps.

    Lastly, for my music, I'm using Amazon Music. For a $25/yr subscription, I can upload 250,000 tracks and play them any time through their cross-platform mobile apps and website. They even have a Roku app. Like iTunes Match, they also match any of your tunes to their existing library. Amazon's media offerings are pretty good, but I think iTunes may still have the larger library.

    I also just discovered Apple's Family Sharing feature. Amazon has a similar feature called "Households", but they limit it to digital books and apps. You can't share music or videos across accounts. So my wife has to log into the Amazon Music and Amazon Instant Video apps under my ID to access all our music and videos.

    I understand that going with the Apple ecosystem will limit me as far as the hardware I am able to use, but I'm so pleased with my iPhone this time around that I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

    I'm just looking for the easiest, most seamless, and yes, even cost-effective technology solutions for me and my family.

    Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to your replies.
    03-31-2015 01:04 PM
  2. diggity's Avatar
    iTunes Match is a pretty good deal if you plan on sticking with iOS for phone, tablet, and media streaming box. It's been very reliable for me over the last couple of years. The downside is that it doesn't work on other platforms.

    I've no opinions on Apple's other cloud offerings. I'm also a big Onedrive user with Office365. I use Google for mail, calendar, and contacts.
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    03-31-2015 01:53 PM
  3. mikeo007's Avatar
    Apple products and services are insanely well integrated. They are second to none in this area. Using Apple cloud services with a single Apple device will offer some benefits, but those benefits are exponentially better the more Apple products you add to your collection.

    - iCloud email, contacts and calendar: Work great with just a single Apple device, about as good as Gmail or Outlook services. Add more Apple devices and you gain more benefits like family sharing, etc.

    - iCoud drive/Pages, numbers, keynote: If using just with a Macbook, no huge benefit. Some nice integration with Apple apps, but nothing that can't be accomplished with most other cloud storage solutions. Using with an iPhone or iPad is a much better experience with full OS level integration on iOS and many Apple and 3rd party apps that take advantage of iCloud. Multiple devices-- again exponentially better. Seamless access to files and documents across devices, no worrying about syncing different versions, everything is handled automatically and handled well.

    - iCloud photos: Great worry free backup if you're just using one device, add amazing worry free sync if you're using multiple devices. Other than the obvious seamless integration in Apple products, photos in iCloud also have some great features like the ability to store lo-res images for viewing on your devices while keeping hi-res ones in the cloud, resulting in less storage space used on devices. Hi-res is always available when needed. Loss-less edits for any photos in icloud when using Photos on iOS or Mac.

    TLDR;
    All Apple cloud services are comparable to competition when using a single Apple device.
    All Apple cloud services are exponentially better when using multiple Apple devices.
    03-31-2015 03:33 PM
  4. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    I do not use iTunes Match, but I do use the rest of the services you mentioned. In my experience, iCloud works great and is more than sufficient for my needs. Having said that, it could be better. For example, syncing iMessages across all of your Apple devices. It should work in the same manner as IMAP email, in my opinion. iCloud photo and Drive works and syncs very well for me. iWorks also syncs well. All are easy to use and integrate easily among your Apple devices, at least they are for me.
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    03-31-2015 04:33 PM
  5. sting7k's Avatar
    Apple charges too much for additional cloud storage space. Plus with Office 365 I get full MS Office which IMO remains superior to all of Apple's work products.
    anon(6038817) and Hectorius like this.
    03-31-2015 04:49 PM
  6. Evilguppy's Avatar
    I don't use iTunes Match but I use everything else.
    The thing with Apple products is that if you set up for everything to work the way Apple intended, it works like a dream.
    I had an Apple guy help me with this because well... I'm clueless, let's be honest here, and I haven't had a single problem.
    Everything is smoothly integrated, it's really superb, I love it.
    anon(6038817) likes this.
    04-02-2015 09:16 PM
  7. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    So I've decided to start using my iCloud email account as my primary account. I've been comparing its desktop browser interface with Outlook and I just like it better. And no ads.

    I've also decided to give Pages, Numbers, and Keynote first dibs whenever I need office apps. I've even decided to make use of the notes app instead of One Note.

    I'll see how things work out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    04-03-2015 12:34 AM
  8. bgl321's Avatar
    So I've decided to start using my iCloud email account as my primary account. I've been comparing its desktop browser interface with Outlook and I just like it better. And no ads.

    I've also decided to give Pages, Numbers, and Keynote first dibs whenever I need office apps. I've even decided to make use of the notes app instead of One Note.

    I'll see how things work out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Just wondering if you are still using/enjoying icloud email? Any issues?
    07-07-2015 04:31 PM

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