14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 8, 2012 6:46 AM by siamless
Lightning George Level 1 Level 1

I will preface these remarks by acknowledging that I have probably made a complete hash of trying to set up and use iCloud with my iPhone 3GS (iOS 5) and 24" iMac (Lion 10.7.2) and iTunes (10.5).


None-the-less, I find iCloud to be poorly executed, unreliable, unnecessarily and unpleasantly surprising, destructive, poorly documented, and dare I write it: Microsoft-like.  Furthermore iCloud smacks of Orwell's "1984": now that I'm in it's not possible to get out and erase my presence in iCloud.  Or, as the Eagles sang in Hotel California, "'Relax,' said the nightman, 'We are programmed to receive. You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.'"


I initially set up iCloud on my iPhone shortly after installing iOS 5, using my existing iTunes appleid.  On the morning of October 17 I turned everything on in Settings>iCloud and watched my iPhone battery go from 97% to 10% in seven hours(!)  Every time I so much as looked cross-eyed at my iPhone it would write something to iCloud.  So I turned everything off and observed that battery consumption returned to what I am used to.  (Meanwhile, I had not yet activated my iMac in iCloud.)


About this time I figured out that the new Reminders app is a Really Good Thing.  I created several Lists and transcribed dozens of Calendar events (that were, in fact, reminders) to Reminders.  I then performed weed abatement in Calendar and cable-Sync'd with my iMac.  Presto!  Much cleaner calendars.  I then decided it would be nice to have my reminders show up in the iCal Reminders side bar on my iMac.  Even though the iPhone User Guide For iOS 5.0 Software describes, on page 95, how one enables Reminders sync-ing in Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars, this function is not implemented in iOS 5.  A kindly My iPhone tech told me the only way to sync Reminders is through iCloud. 


Meanwhile, I decided that my iCloud information would be more secure if I created a new appleid just for iCloud.  I would create a new iCloud-only appleid and use it to activate both my iPhone and iMac in iCloud.  (Oh God, what a mess this effort would create.)


I quickly discovered that I could not change my iCloud appleid in Settings>iCloud, but would have to delete my iCloud account and start over.  So I did.  I then dreamed up a new appleid.  As all the on-screen documentation used "example@me.com" I decided to create a mailbox at me.com.  I got precisely nowhere: The second My iPhone senior technician I talked to got around to explaining that any email address containing "@me.com" is considered a MobileMe address and is inelegible for use with iCloud.  (Aw <expletive deleted>.)  Mind you, getting this far consumed over four hours of my time and that of three Apple technicians spread over two days.


But that's not all!


It's now Monday morning, October 24.  When I activated my iMac in iCloud, my laboriously-created Reminders disappeared!  Vanished.  Six completed reminders dating from October 17 (when I first turned on iCloud in my iPhone and fiddled with the Reminders and other apps) were all that remained.  In my iPhone.  In iCloud.  In iCal.  That was really annoying.  What was disappointing was discovering that iCal's Reminders functionality is seriously deficient and, in my opinion, not worth using.  So all the preceding effort to get iCloud up and running was (in my opinion) wasted.  I really have no need for, nor desire to use, the other iCloud facilities (with the likely exception of Find My iPhone--that seems like a good idea). 


But wait, there's more!


Monday evening, October 24, being thoroughly disenchanted with iCloud, I set about disentangling my iMac from iCloud.  (Queue "Hotel California".)  I started un-checking the boxes in System Preferences>iCloud.  When I got to Address Book, iCloud wiped it clean!  That's when I discovered that I cannot recover Address Book Groups from Time Machine.  All 900 vCards, yes.  The 29 Groups into which they were sorted, no.  (Aw <expletive deleted>.)  iCloud had a complete Address Book in Contacts, as did my iPhone.  I didn't see any way to tell iCloud to push its complete Contacts  down to Address Book.  Fortunately for the many fine My iPhone techs, the switchboard was closed for the day.  I put my iMac to sleep, shut off the modem, and broke out the Wild Turkey.  Nighty-night, everybody! 


Now it's Tuesday morning, October 25.  I turn on my modem, wake my iMac, and retire to the kitchen to brew some coffee.  A while later I return to my iMac to check email and perform my other morning rituals.  Lo and behold!   My Address Book is restored to its former glory!  iCloud (bless its black heart) has saved me.


Tuesday afternoon.  My iPhone.  Another senior tech.  Another hour-and-a-half on the phone.  My iMac is now cut-off from iCloud.  iCloud still has an empty Calendar and an empty Contacts.  It seems that if one stumbles into the iCloud quicksand one can never extricate oneself completely.  ("Hotel California" reprise.)  But I'm free!  Free, you hear!  Free!  Except for Find My iPhone.  That's a good thing.  It's the only item turned on in Settings>iCloud.  It can find my iPhone.  All the boxes in System Preferences>iCloud are un-checked.


"Never more!" cried the raven.

iPhone 3GS, iOS 5
  • Sjazbec Level 4 Level 4

    You missed the joy of buying iwork apps for iOS and turn on the iCloud storage for the created files:


    the documents stored into the cloud delete themself . Hours of typing,footnotes,included graphics : Poof.Gone.



    iCloud. iDust.

  • ROGER BURTON Level 1 Level 1

    I tend to agree ... I ma not too sure what iCloud does, I tried backing up to it but you lose the 'backup to itunes option' - at the moment I'd rather rely on my iTunes backup - also where do you tell it NOT to back up, for instance,  apps ... if I backup everything on my iphone it will eat up the 5gb allowance and I don't want to get into paying for more storage ... I really just don't see the point .... happy days ... Roger

  • musicinmoline Level 1 Level 1

    Agree. I upgraded my iPad, which also upgraded Pages and Numbers, and installed iCloud. The documents I had in Pages and Numbers are gone - poof! Are they somewhere in cyberspace that I can find them again?

  • Redarm Level 4 Level 4
    Mac OS X

    ROGER BURTON wrote:


    I tend to agree ... I ma not too sure what iCloud does, I tried backing up to it but you lose the 'backup to itunes option' - at the moment I'd rather rely on my iTunes backup - also where do you tell it NOT to back up, for instance,  apps ... if I backup everything on my iphone it will eat up the 5gb allowance and I don't want to get into paying for more storage ... I really just don't see the point .... happy days ... Roger

    You don't lose "backup to iTunes", you can do this by right clicking your device in iTunes and selecting "back up".

    To tell it what to not back up go to: Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage > your device's name

    Here you'll find "Backup Options".  Hope this helps?

  • gtrnstuff Level 1 Level 1

    I'm in agreement.  The 1984 comparison is a good one.

    We're trying to make sense of duplicated and deleted iCal events. 

    Syncing iCal across two Macs, an IPad2 and an iPhone was the main reason for us to go along with iCloud, since Mobile Me is being phased out.


    It seems in their effort to simplify, Apple has taken away almost all user control over how data is stored.

  • HippieFee Level 1 Level 1

    In setting up my iCal for the cloud it duped all my events and was a real mess.  Ok, undo the cloud sync and things should be back to normal right?  Like you I lost every event in my calendar.  Every event was not gone.  It appears that when you setup iCloud for calendar it ***** everything into the cloud so that if you disable it, all your events are now gone.  For some reason that just doesn't make sense.  You should have ultimate control over your own data so when you sever the iCal/iCloud link you should have a copy of every event still in your calendar.  I got the events back, by hooking back to the cloud, but I don't like that if I disable the cloud I loose my events.


    I did a backup of my events and the file appears to have all my events.  I say this only because the backup I have before I setup iCloud for calendar is very similar to the backup file size after iCloud.  I have not tested this, but I would assume you can make a backup of your calendar, disconnect iCloud and then import the backup to get all your events back.  This should work but to me seem like an un-necessary step as you should always have a copy of your events in calenadr weather you are using the cloud or not.

    Don't even get me started on contact, that was a freaking mess that I have not tackled yet.  I got my contacts back and was happy just to do that.

  • hoodie916 Level 1 Level 1

    I am sorry LG, but I have found iCloud = iProblem. 


    It has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster from it's inception.  I have had random contacts appear, emails disappear from my inbox, so I fully understand where you are coming from.  iCal events vanishing...


    I thought 'Find My iPhone' was present before iCloud, if so, I can't find a single redeeming feature for the 'mare that is iCloud yet. 


    iPhone 4Gs great features but crap battery even after iOS 5.0.1.


    What happened to Apple and it's QC?????

  • riotinmyheart Level 1 Level 1

    Couldn't agree more - iCloud is garbage. Turned on my iPod touch 3g one day to find all my music gone. Rebooted, and there it was. To this day random music files go missing and I have to reupload them. I don't understand why Apple or anyone could release something so terrible.

  • Islandbear_Whangarei Level 1 Level 1

    Yep, as with all here, I agree.


    I tried the cloud in a very limited dataset. (I thought I'd just use it for Reminders, Calendars, and maybe contacts.)


    Disaster.  My contacts exploded with from 3-5 duplicates of every entry, calendars entries doubled, reminders never did sync(and still don't)


    It took days to deactivate Icloud, remove all the duplicated groups/entries, and restore data that using the cloud had deleted.


    When I posted my problems on the icloud Apple support site it was prompty deleted.  My problems are not their problems it seems.


    All this and it never did actually sync the data I wanted sync'd, reminders.


    I can't believe that this would have happened, Apple getting a really bad name via trash applications/services, when Steve was running the company.


    I know that the cloud was dreamed up durning Steve's watch, but the implimentattion of icloud has really trashed the Apple brand name.  He would never have allowed his company to be nosedived like this.

  • azartguy Level 1 Level 1

    Well, you nailed it.  I suppose the dirty little secret is that this iMac>iCloud>iPad synchronization simply doesn't work. It's a good sell, but a bad process.


    Apparently the "preferred" method for sharing files remains using iTunes and involves physically connecting the two devices and moving files? Rather than do it that way, I can simple email myself Pages documents and download faster, easier, cleaner and a lot less aggravation. So what is the deal about this brave new wireless world of iCloud connectivity? I don't see it. 


    My inference that there was this wondrous system floating around in the ether where any document generated by Apple software, i.e., Pages, could be viewed, edited and updated in real time from any Apple device is bunk. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; some document files move in one direction (iPad > desktop) but not in the other; sometimes the files that do sync are where you expect them to be, sometimes not.


  • whatishappening Level 1 Level 1

    This thread is somewhat disconcerting. I have three Apple devices that I have successfully used with Mobile Me to keep synced.   The only two items that I keep synced is contacts and calendar. Mobile Me has done this great. However, Apple will be removing Mobile Me in June or July.


    I have spent considerable time establishing my contacts in groups for my iPhone and iPad and Mac. I have been very hesitant in switching over to Lion on my Mac at home - because of the bad press in the reviews.  But Lion is needed to run the iCloud system on non iOS devices.


    I don't want to lose my contact groups and have considered other services, but haven't found any that would sync contact groups.


    Is there anyone who has had a good experience with contact groups transitioning over to iCloud on iOS devices? 


    I am presently using iPhone 4s, ipad2 and Mac desktop.


    Thanks for your help and suggestions.



  • gtrnstuff Level 1 Level 1

    Short story, our iCal and contacts (including groups) are syncing fine across 4 devices.  iMac and Mac Pro both running Lion, and an iPad and iPhone on IOS5.


    That was after a disconcerting start where calendar events seemed to be vanishing and duplicating.  I did discover part of the problem was having some calendars "on my mac" or "mobile me" enabled.  Once I enabled only iCloud calendars it got better.


    But that's all I can get to work. 

    Safari bookmarks, not happening.


    I don't want to put the "main" version of any document on iCloud.  I want the main version local, with online as a synced backup only.

    So I'm not using any more features than what I have currently working.


    In System Prefs, if you log out of iCloud, it warns that associated contacts may be removed from "this Mac" unless you check "keep contacts".  That's new; before it just said 'contacts would be removed' and only exist on iCloud.   Maybe they are listening to us, hopefully.

  • azartguy Level 1 Level 1


    Well, I finally had Pages >iCloud>iPad explained so I could make it work.


    The best thing to do is think of this as a one-way system. Stuff moves from the iPad to iCloud automatically; stuff must be moved manually to/from the desktop (iMac,Macbook etc)  to iCloud.


    For example with Pages this is what works for me:

    Open Pages

    Open iCloud.com > iWork > Pages


    Pages > Open > All My Files >Document

    Drag n' Drop Pages Document > iCloud > Pages page

    It will then upload it to your IOs device; any changes made on the iPad are automatically "saved" on iCloud, but to get them into your desktop you will have to reverse the process:

    Open iCloud.com > iWork > Pages >select document > Download >Pages (or Word, PDF) and that "new" file will open in your desktop Pages.


    Strangly, iPhoto simply links both ways, or so it seems to this point but I have high hopes I will come acropper when I get into it.


    The iCloud system is certainly not the automatic "it's all in iCloud" as presented by Apple. Yeah, it is in the cloud, but you have to go through several steps to get it there and it certainly isn't the transparent simple sync that is being marketed.

  • siamless Level 1 Level 1

    iCloud - indeed!


    "...we have discovered that at this point iCloud can't be considered as a 100% reliable way to store and share files. We have numerous reports from customers claiming that they have actually lost files due to malfunctioning iCloud engine.


    It is very possible that we'll be forced to permanently remove the iCloud feature from the app in the future. Therefore we strongly suggest to migrate to other ways of cross-device syncing. Dropbox file hosting service (www.dropbox.com) with their 2GB free plan in combination with our Auto Sync feature seems like a good alternative.


    We encourage you to create safe copies of your iCloud files to make sure your valuable files are not lost."