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What iCloud Is, and What It’s Not

A closer look at Apple's cloud initiative

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In spite of all the hype around Apple’s iCloud, there has been some confusion about what it is and what it’s not. For starters, the iCloud stores user content on the cloud and pushes it to other devices, such as the iPad. While it’s great for storing and sharing documents and images between devices, or syncing information on your devices together, it is not a back up.

Were you under the impression that iCloud was a back up solution? Let us know.

For example, if you create a document on your iPhone, you can pull that same document up on your iPad through the iCloud. However, if you delete it on your iPhone, it cannot be retrieved on your iPad.

Anthony Palermo, the creator of online back up Dolly Drive, said that iCloud was “Apple’s introduction to services that go beyond your device.” His product, on the other hand, does serve as a cloud back up through Apple’s Time Machine.

“Dolly Drive is actually more than just the ability of backing up your information, [or] your computer to the cloud, it also has a framework to back up locally your drives, so that if you ever were to lose your hard drive, you can immediately connect an external hard drive and be up and running again,” he said.

He went on to explain that even though iCloud and Dolly Drive serve 2 very distinctive services, they are both critical to the needs of users. With iCloud, users can view their iTunes library from all their Mac and Apple devices, stream photos between devices, sync and store documents on devices, and see apps and app history on all devices.

Through Dolly Drive, users have a back up to all their computer files, if they want. Also, it backs up computer content automatically every hour and allows users to continue working even if their hard drive crashes.

“Our intent is to make sure that no matter what’s on your computer or where it’s at on your computer, it gets backed up,” said Palermo.

We asked him what he thought about Apple and Google’s very different approaches to the cloud. According to him, Apple wants to offer the best experience for their devices. Google, though, is focused on platforms and on a large-scale experience for users.

He also told us that he expects the value of the cloud to increase over the next several years.

“We’re going to see great things to come with the cloud in the next 5 years, and I think, at that point, younger, more experienced computer-savvy users will see the cloud as just a natural process of what they do as they sit down and work with their devices,” he added.

What iCloud Is, and What It’s Not


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  • Norm

    Absolutely thought it was a backup solution. So much that I’ve held off buying a new drive. Now, off to Best Buy.

  • http://www.hinsel.com hinsel

    Good article – brief and to the point.

    Remember kids: Jesus Saves – everybody else better make backups! :D

  • http://thewebsensesolution.com Jon

    When the cloud starts raining where does my backup go?

  • M

    Looks like a shameless plug for Dolly Drive. Quite the hefty fee too. Why did Dolly Drive get all the press instead of more of the other companies that do this like Carbonute or best yet… buy a Terastation , do this for yourself and pay nobody a monthly servitude ? Why would you want to pay Any monthly fee and be hostage to a here today gone tomorrow company when you can do it yourself?

    Just IMHO.

  • Dom9360

    What a shameless plug for dolly. iCloud backs some things such as purchases like apps and music. And later, when it’s introduced officially we may see email calendar, and etc — the essentials. Backing up your entire hard drive is not really feasible online. That’s why they have time capsule and time machine.

  • Pookie1379

    I am a Dolly Drive user. I used to backup my MacBook to a portable external as you suggest. Unfortunately, when my MacBook bag was stolen, so was the external backup attached to it. Everything was lost.

    Now I backup online, sitting at Starbucks, without even thinking about it because of Time Machine and Dolly Drive. (And I would never give up Time Machine. I have too many documents produced over time. I need every version backedup).

    I was nervous to see if iCloud would mean I should’ve waited before getting Dolly Drive and just gotten an online backup service directly through Apple. (When you backup that long once, you dont really want to have to do it again.) But its not the same thing at all. I preach backup to everyone and I would say it here too. Do not think iCloud will backup your files. It seems awesome for a ton of things, but true backup isnt one of them. Im a happy Dolly Drive user. I’d recommend it to anyone with a Mac.

    Backup is like finding religion. Once you see the light, you want to make sure everyone knows!!!

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