Backing up to iCloud Just Doesn’t Fit for the 99%

We use iPads within our organization and the use is growing.  This starts to present IT support concerns, especially when major iOS updates like iOS 5 come out. 

iCloud is touted as being a great answer to several issues because it allows you to backup devices over the Internet.  I agree that this is a great idea for consumers and potentially for enterprises, but at the moment it doesn’t live up to the desire initially. 

Doesn’t Work for the Enterprise Yet

Unfortunately iCloud really doesn’t seem to be a solution for enterprise. 

iCloud might work for carts if:
•    It wasn’t limited to 10 devices (Apple doesn’t intend this for enterprise use? Not even a single cart?)
•    It could back up a single image to the cloud, that could be restored to any number of devices, such as 30 devices in a cart.  No sense in backing up numerous duplicate images.
•    Restores could be done in batch without having to start it from each iPad individually (now we’re back to using iTunes on the cart)

Doesn’t Work for the Average Consumer Yet

Regarding both the enterprise and consumer points of view iCloud’s initial 5GB may seem generous compared to other cloud offerings that typically only give 2GB, but for a standard iPad that holds 16GB the initial 5GB gets filled quickly.  Worse yet it gets filled without any real knowledge of what’s going on.  With Dropbox and others I am quite aware when I put large files into it.  With my iPad I may download a few apps, take a few videos, and suddenly my iCloud storage is out of space when I had a gig available yesterday.

It gets worse when our users are backing their phone and iPad to the same iCloud account. Quite quickly they are subjected to needing to upgrade their iCloud storage.  $100 a year (for one iPhone and one iPad) is pretty hefty. 

Not to say that Apple’s pricing isn’t in line with other similar cloud storage vendors, it just doesn’t seem to translate well to “iDevices”.

Works for the 1% (Occasional Low-End User)

The iPad is great for my grandparents, who currently have a WebTV.  They get around the Internet great but I don’t want to give them a computer that you have to update, keep the latest codecs, prone to failure, etc.).  An iPad would be a great fit.

They probably won’t be power users, will play with occasional apps and would get a great kick out of sharing a photostream or using FaceTime.  I think they would easily fit into the 5GB iCloud capacity and take great advantage of updating to future OS versions over the air.  Right now I think this is the best target market for iCloud.  Unfortunately it’s a very small target market.

I hope that Apple will address these issues in some way in the next few “versions” of their iCloud support.  I have no doubt that they can and will.  As the next couple of years go by cloud vendors will offer more and more space and lower prices and interoperability with more devices.

KeyNote on the iPad–A pleasure to use and a touch interface done right

Recently I’ve started using an iPad 2 in my work environment and I’ve been doing a few presentations about it.  So I was on the hunt for a decent presentation software.  I just picked up KeyNote on the iPad and I have to say I love it.  So much that I had to blog about it, and that’s saying a lot. Smile

KeyNote is a touch app done right.  There is a discussion going on that touch devices should have a touch O/S and a point and click device should have a point and click UI, and very rarely should they actually be merged.  That’s one reason why Windows on an iPad has never really worked and probably never will unless Windows 8 changes the game.

KeyNote is an example of a great app that is designed with the iPad as the only device it is intended for.  The entire interface is based on the touch/swipe model of the iPad, of course.  The UI is very intuitive and very easy to use .  All the interactions make perfect sense and are very easy to use, including adding images, sizing, rotating, adding animation effects, etc.  I’m amazed at the power of the editor while still being a simple touch device.

It’s nice being able to create presentations on the fly with it.  Had I not had Internet access when I was at the Ontario airport I would have been severely hampered when trying to create a recent iPad presentation on the fly.  Had I had KeyNote it would have been a snap other than the graphics I downloaded from Google Images.

I’ll be using KeyNote for the majority of my presentations from now on.  I’ll probably spring for the $0.99 KeyNote presenter remote app that allows me to control the presentation from my iPhone along with viewing what slide I’m on and the presentation notes.

It is just such a pleasure to use an app that blows away all expectations of the iPad and just makes perfect sense.  KeyNote hits the ball out of the park. I know it sounds like I’m an Apple fan boy but believe me, this app deserves it.