Saturday, November 03, 2012

Minor things that drive me nuts: iCloud is not an improvement over MobileMe

In an otherwise uncontroversial rant about Apple's net service reliability failures I came across a glaring bit of conventional stupidity ...

When is iCloud going to be more reliable? — Erica Ogg

... To be fair, iCloud has been a massive improvement over MobileMe...

No, iCloud hasn't been an improvement. I suspect Erica never used MobileMe, so she's only repeating what she's read elsewhere.

I used MobileMe, and I've used iCloud. MobileMe was very unreliable when it launched, but by the time it ended it was fairly reliable at what it did across both Windows and Mac clients. In part this was because a lot of bugs had been wrung out of the clients and because Apple stopped adding features.

iCloud was a major regression for MobileMe users, not least because Lion was a wreck. Even under Mountain Lion it's probably not as reliable as MobileMe was towards the end -- when Apple stopped trying to sell it.

So will things get better? I'm optimistic, because Apple's share price has been falling as the company is pummeled by bored journalists and geeks alike. This is a good thing; suffering helps humility, and humility may lead to new thinking on customer service and reliability. We don't need radical changes to OS X -- Mountain Lion is a good enough platform for at least another decade. We do need reliability, and thoughtful improvements.

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