What iCloud Is, and What It’s Not

    June 24, 2011

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.