Cloud Napped – Dark Skies in the iCloud @sugarsync @dropbox

It’s curious to see how social media is used to influence opinion. For me, it all started with an exasperated email from a friend who’d had her documents “cloud-napped” by Apple’s new iCloud. We’ve also seen GoogleMusic, Amazon and others offer their cloud storage solutions, putting solutions like Box.net, Dropbox.com and SugarSync on the defensive.

A colleague who is an avid iPad/iPhone user sent me an email, and then whined plaintively via a Skype call:

iCloud has swallowed up all my documents. How do I get them back?

Of course, if this is what my colleague had wanted of Apple’s iCloud, that would be one thing. But that it happened one day when her device was connected to iTunes, automatically, is another. I immediately sent my colleague some helpful information that I scrounged:
Now, it’s been curious to see different responses to the iCloud issues (and how quickly they get resolved). SugarSync’s blog–Read My SugarSync Serieshad an interesting approach to GoogleMusic‘s entry into the field and I really enjoyed reading it (no, Sugarsync isn’t paying me for this blog entry in any way). What was particularly fun is that they are a vendor blogging, something bloggers often encourage folks to do:

As we’ve seen with so many other services, Google Music is just the latest example of another walled garden approach to Cloud services, where some people get access, and some people don’t. Let’s review:

  • Apple iCloud – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on iOS mobile devices
  • Amazon Cloud Drive – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on Android mobile devices
  • Google Music – Works on Mac and PC, but only works on Android mobile devices

As you can see, the large players that are offering Cloud services to consumers are only supporting the mobile platforms that they have a vested interest in.  There are several problems with this approach:

  • It’s a multi-platform world – Even if you’re an Apple fan (or an Android fan), depending on where you work, your company might require you to work on a PC and carry a BlackBerry or Android device (or vice versa). So it is often the case that people have their preference of device/platform at home, but have to use something else at work. In those cases, people need a Cloud service that works across all platforms and devices.
  • Sharing/collaborating – Even if you personally use Apple iOS devices or Android, what if your friends, family or co-workers do not? In order to use one Cloud service for sharing and collaboration with everyone – regardless of their devices – you need to have a service that does not exclude certain devices.
What an excellent summary of the situation! Insightful! Of course, the main thrust of this blog entry from SugarSync is to get you to consider their cloud storage product, but you have to expect that. In the meantime, I can hear people reading this and saying, “Yes, that’s true!”

The large players are using the Cloud to lock people in to the mobile platforms that they have a vested interest in. Here atSugarSync, we believe the Cloud should set you free.

Of course, the Dropbox.com and Box.net (which recently offered 50gigs for free if you logged in via an iPad or iPhone) would argue that THEIR respective products set you free in a much more empowering way than SugarSync does…but that is their prerogative!

SugarSync has a wonderful solution that works cross-platform and works on mobile devices, although their upload speed is significantly slower than other competitors (making it difficult to upload large quantities of documents/files in a timely manner, whatever that means). In fact, I’ve often noticed this myself, making SugarSync free unusable except for small stuff (same goes for Box.net):

I always know when sugarsync is uploading files, as my web surfing slows to a stand still unitl I shutdown SS–even with the sync set at the slowest speed.  As I write this, I’m using iDrive to do a backup of larger set of files than I have sugar sync backing up and there is no noticible slow down of web browsing.  Never had a speed issue with Dropbox, either, but I prefer not having to stick files in one folder to sync. (Comment in SugarSync Forums)

One nice feature of SugarSync on mobile devices–like Android–is their uploading of pictures/images. I like it better than Picasa or Google+.

What do you think of this approach to social media/blogging to gain entrance to the hearts and minds of consumers?


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

One thought on “Cloud Napped – Dark Skies in the iCloud @sugarsync @dropbox

  1. Rusty November 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm Reply

    Haven't (but will) read your other SugarSync blogs yet but wanted to add an observation I feel timely with the advent of the Amazon Fire.As we know the Fire does not have the "real" Google Android Market and though their App Store is nothing to sneeze at, it does have some significant MIAs. Having worked with low-end Android tablets with this same handicap has taught me that the easiest way to get the desired APK on for sideload is not necessarity an SD card but a cloud storage solution such as SugarSync or DropBox. Happens that DropBox is not in the Amazon store but SS is so it becomes the first step in the solution for sideloading apps Amazon has not vetted. Those who do not have a "real" Android device with access to the Google Market could still have a hard time getting the needed APK unless a friend shares it through a cloud service – assuming of course that violates no AUP/TC ;)Personally, the first thing I'd do if had a Fire (no intentions of getting one) is install SugarSync and use that to transfer the DropBox APK to install that as well.

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