Recently on Facebook JP was lamenting the confused state of managing our data in the cloud when multiple identities and platforms are involved.
New Windsor, United Kingdom ·
iCloud is terrible. Going back to Microsoft is unthinkable. Having lived through trying to use personal and corporate gmail accounts in parallel, Google is ruled out as well. Actually contemplating living a life without Apple or Google now, not just Microsoft. All three now excel at making simple things hard.
And it’s true. Trying to make sense out of the various cloud services is a convoluted mess.
I liked his post and in comments he asked me
JP Rangaswami David I’d be interested in knowing whether your experience of these services has deteriorated similarly. For me, as soon as you have multiple family accounts, multiple devices and want access to any sort of “content”, the user experience is Kafkaesque. Codified bureaucratic incompetence at Olympic levels.
There’s not an easy response to that. So as to not clog up Facebook comments I outline here what I’ve found the best solution – and by best I mean the one I currently use – none of this stuff is best… it’s all a kludge.
I need to use the following devices
A iMac and a Windows 7 PC at my desk at home
A Windows 7 laptop at my bed
A Windows 7 PC at my desk at work
An iPhone – on my desk when home; hanging around my neck on a lanyard when not.
All controlled by a stick held in my mouth – the iPhone, a stylus.
I can’t use my iPhone very well when away from desk so most of what I do is at a keyboard and screen at a desk.
All my email accounts are fed into gmail and aliases setup so when replying to any email it appears as coming from the account to which it was sent. Mind you, this is only personal email.
Calendars are the next big hurdle. Forgetting work for a while, just keeping my calendars in sync is done via my iMac. I turn on iCloud syncing on my iPhone for calendars to sync with my mac and then sync my Mac calendar also with google calendars.
For work, as I work for Government I can’t bridge the Govt. divide and so work email is via Outlook when at work or Outlook Web Access via a browser anywhere else (unless on the work vpn).
Same with calendars. I’m forever having to check clashes between my work and home calendar manually. I often send myself meeting requests between my work/home so I’ll know what I’m meant to be doing. I’m sure there’s Managers who can have a better experience being mobile… but not us plebs.
Contacts. Never the twain shall meet. Work contacts are duplicated on my personal contacts manually.
So I seem to have Google as the centre of much of what I do but only on account of being restricted by where I work. If work removed that, now that the majority of Microsft apps are available on the Mac, I’d be on Microsoft cloud like a shot for docs and apps, notes, calendars and contacts. It’d be hard to ditch google for email… but even that might become a funnel to Microsoft’s offerings.
The cloud services seem to be great if you’re one person with one identity and can find everything you need from one economy and that economy’s preferred devices.
That’s a lot of “ones” in one sentence. Which makes me think that silos haven’t gone away with the cloud … they’ve merely migrated there.