When will Apple fix its cloud?

Apple may be the hippest, most innovative company in history, but its cloud offering stinks

It's no secret that I'm not exactly Apple's most loyal fan. But I'm a fair guy. I give credit where credit is due, and when I slam something the object of that criticism deserves it. Like me.com, for example. The ideas behind me.com are fantastic, but the execution blows. Let's take a look at what me.com promises.

1. "Email, contacts, and calendars. In sync everywhere you go."

This is the hook that sucked me in. Do I trust Apple with all my contacts? I guess so. Trust isn't really my issue. Me and my fellow me.com users have continual issues with the sync actually working. This falls under the category of a great feature -- when it works.

[ Find out how whurley devised his own "MacBook Cloud" -- for $200 | Keep up on the latest in cloud developments with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter and Cloud Computing channel. ]

2. "Works with the applications you already use."

Should read "Works with the Apple applications that Apple loves to think you all already use" -- which, alas, is not true for anyone. It doesn't work with common applications you likely use every day at home and in the office. All of my e-mail, for example, is hosted Gmail; I haven't used the Apple mail app in years. There is some limited capability to integrate, but Apple's trying to herd you toward its corral. Open up your API, you misers, so developers can integrate with all the fantastic applications available on Macs today.

3. "Me.com. Your desktop everywhere."

Sounds amazing, right? It is ... when it works. I have a blazingly fast connection at home and work, and still I have latency and connectivity issues. That's just not acceptable to customers who travel for business or need to retrieve that file they left on their home computer after pulling another all-nighter for their multinational corporation (hint, hint).

Those are my three biggest beefs with Apple's claims. This shouldn't be just about what I think -- let's give Apple constructive criticism on the company's cloud services so that we can use them consistently without error or issue. First tip, Stevie, if you're listening: Add a feedback mechanism to your cloud offerings, a la IdeaScale. It would be nice to see some user recommendations included in the next update.

I'm still looking for this blog to be more interactive. Open discussion on me.com's flaws starts here. Please use your comment to share your me.com trials, tribulations, and potential work-arounds for the issues that all users of Apple's first cloud offering are suffering from. Maybe we can get this floater improved into something we can use.  Hell, I'd be willing to pay a higher annual if the damn thing would just work right.

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