While Apple may be a gem in the eyes of its customers, one of its newest features — the iCloud — is sorely lacking when it comes to applications for small-business users.
It’s hardly a new concept but Apple showed just how far things have come when it announced last week that it had signed up 85 million users to iCloud, the cloud service it has baked into its desktop and mobile operating systems.
Apple markets iCloud, its cloud-computing and file-syncing service, as a powerful content storage solution.
And as an enticement for businesses looking to switch over to Apple products, iCloud doesnt begin to make the sale.
It is overwhelmingly geared toward individual users with more than one Apple device.
The problem is that the same service used to sync music and television shows is also used to share calendars and documents between devices.
Microsoft’s solution is a little more complicated and spread over more services, though the company does promise “seamless” integration across all devices with Windows 8.
A report from Apple that 85 million people have signed up for its iCloud service is an indication a significant number of computer users are willing — even happy — to entrust their personal data, from documents to music to last summer’s vacation snaps, to other digital hands.
Group-sharing options — for instance, syncing calendars among co-workers — are limited, and when they are present theyre restricted to other iCloud users.
Not only does this require your colleagues to own an Apple device, they also must be using a compatible operating system and have an iCloud account set up.
For limited document storage — say you need to access a document on the road from your iPhone — it can work, but the document has to be stored in your personal iCloud.
To some, it might seem as though Apple is trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to business file sharing.
-based Sugar Sync or Google Apps can usually be easier to set up and more flexible.
The mobile version of Google Apps — which can be accessed on an iPhone, iPad or even an iPod Touch — is fast, stable, device-agnostic and allows for first-rate team access.
All it takes is to bookmark your Google Apps account homepage in your iPhone or click on the Apps button in the Google iPhone app to create a superior solution to the iCloud.
Given its limited scope and that there are so many other ways to access files from the Web, why bother with iCloud.
Naomi Harris is a business journalist based in Darwin, Australia. Naomi has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Naomi spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.