When you are a writer you need to have the option to write wherever you are, for me the iPad is the perfect solution to this. It would drive me absolutely nuts, if I had to write things either in a book, or worse still, on a piece of paper longhand. Partly because I have terrible handwriting and partly because writing with ink on paper is so much slower for me. When you are using the iPad and using applications such as Byword then you are certainly going to want to take advantage of iCloud communications. I can do whatever writing I need to do, perhaps using my Apple Bluetooth keyboard, knowing that anything I write will be immediately available for me to continue working with on my iMac. On account of having both the iPad and the iMac connected up to iCloud download of files, is something I don’t have to think about.
Applications that connect to iCloud
iCloud communications work between iOS devices running iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. If the application has been set up to use iCloud, you can just do the work wherever you like, knowing that you will be able to continue in any other iCloud connected place. It’s good that we have iCloud MobileMe, is finished and was never that good anyway. I often heard people complaining about MobileMe. While it is true that iCloud is not perfect yet, it is slowly improving and with Mac OS X Mountain Lion it is set to get a little better.
iCloud cost – iCloud pricing
With regards the iCloud pricing, it is initially free to use and you get up to 5 GB of free space. Like other cloud services you can expect to pay more to store more. You can check on the iCloud wiki or on the Apple website for full details of the cost of iCloud if you want to store more gigabytes of data. iCloud as a service is baked into Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 and you don’t have to worry about doing an iCloud beta download. There was a promise with Mac OS X Lion that we would be able to work on a document on iOS and then seamlessly go to work on it on our desktop computer. That must have a more difficult to implement, because you had to go to the iCloud login in a web browser to get access to your iCloud documents. It was a surprise that it didn’t even work in the Apple iWork apps. Hopefully it will work properly in the next version of Mac OS X.
iCloud iPhone, iCloud iPad and iCloud desktop
It is kind of like the Star Trek way of working, where members of the Enterprise crew could start working on their Tricorders and finish off the job at the main console on the spaceship. We can expect this sort of integration as the links between the iOS operating system and the desktop operating system become tighter.
This is an Apple Mac-based system and Windows users will not get the full iCloud Windows applications. They will still be able to get documents started on iPad, by going to the iCloud login in a web browser. Already, it is possible to download the documents from this iCloud service as Windows type documents. So something you have worked on in Keynote you can get as a PowerPoint from iCloud and a Pages documents can be extracted as a Word document. Personally I think that the mega bloat of documents like Word documents are the way of the dinosaur and we should be working with pure text in Markdown. This way we don’t have to worry about new formats for text documents coming along, leaving old documents unreadable. Certainly it seems that we have something to look forward to in terms of iCloud communications by the end of summer 2012.