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iPhone 4 and iOS vs. Android: desktop and cloud services

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Smartphone platforms from Apple and Google reflect the two company's home territories: Apple is firmly rooted in selling the Mac with iTunes as a digital hub for iPods and iPhones, while Google's base is web centric, focusing on web search and advertising. Here's how iOS and Android compare in terms of desktop and cloud services, including support for Exchange Server in the enterprise, part two in this series.

In this series:
iPhone 4 and iOS vs. Android: hardware features
iPhone 4 and iOS vs. Android: desktop and cloud services

Over the last decade, Apple has constructed a rich digital hub centered around iTunes, handling local device backup and the syncing, organizing, and management of user data (photos, email, calendars, contacts, notes, browser bookmarks), media services (music, audiobooks, TV shows, movies, videos, podcasts, iTunes U content), mobile apps, and the iOS itself.

This is unique among smartphone platforms (including Google's Android), all of which rely upon mobile carriers to deliver "over the air" software updates to their devices, and also rely upon such "cloud services" to provide device and data backup, media streaming and sales, online app and ebook stores, and push messaging services, including email and calendar events.

Apple began adding cloud access (a shorthand term for Internet services that don't require a middleman PC) in 2007 with the WiFi iTunes Store, then extended its desktop-based .Mac cloud service to iPhone users in 2008 with the renamed MobileMe, which provides push messaging (mail, contacts, calendar and notes), remote device find/message/alarm/lock/wipe management features, and cloud storage of documents (iDisk) and media files (Gallery).

Apple also opened a device-based cloud version of the iTunes App Store, and most recently has extended iBook support to the iPhone as well. All of these cloud stores maintain sync with content purchased, backed up, and cataloged in the desktop iTunes on the Mac and PC.

Google's Android platform is designed to be entirely cloud based; there's no equivalent to an iTunes desktop app from the company, although the third party DoubleTwist serves as a partial alternative, providing desktop access to Google's Android Market, Amazon's media store, and a podcast library. DoubleTwist is also available for a variety of other devices that lack an iTunes of their own, including RIM's BlackBerry, HP's Palm Pre, and Sony's PSP.

Other third party Android offerings also bridge the gaps in Android's out of the box experience, such as Amazon's Kindle app, which provides an online ebook store, and Missing Sync, which offers to sync music, videos, podcasts, ringtones, photos, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks.

Google's own Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and other cloud-based services are accessible from Android phones, using either the "with Google" Android apps or via the company's web-based apps from Android phones that don't bundle them. Google plans to open a future competitor to Apple's iTunes Music Store (and Amazon's) for Android that enables cloud-based streaming of media.



The dark side of the Cloud

The drawback to Google's cloud-only strategy for Android is that cloud services are notorious for falling offline and for losing users' data. From Microsoft's Danger, to the Palm Pre and Nokia's Ovi service, to RIM's BlackBerry NOC, everyone who has offered cloud services for smartphones has also lost users' data. That maxim also applies to both Google and Apple, which like everyone else in the industry has inadvertently interrupted services and lost user data related to their cloud operations.

However, with iTunes and its "local backups by default" design, if your cloud services fail (and history indicates they will at some point), you can always revert to a local copy of your data you own and control. Google's Android, like Microsoft, RIM, and other mobile platform vendors, not only bets that cloud services won't ever fail, but also puts users' backups in the cloud, ensuring that when they do fail, users will be completely helpless unless they've created a personal strategy to make their own local backups. Which nobody does, even when there is a way to do this.

Apple currently enjoys a strong lead in offering iTunes as a silver lining for cloud failures. Every iPhone is automatically backed up locally by default, making device replacement and upgrades easy and painless. Because Google and other vendors are focusing on improving and extending their cloud offerings, it looks like Apple will continue to enjoy an increasingly strong position with iTunes as a local sync hub, a factor that will prevent many iTunes users from even considering alternatives to iPhone, regardless of any potential, real advantages offered by Android. At the same time, Apple is pushing ahead its own cloud services in tandem with (and well integrated with) iTunes.

On page 2 of 3: MobileMe isn't free, Exchange Server & open enterprise cloud services support.

MobileMe isn't free

On the other hand, while Google's online services (Gmail and Calendar/Contacts, with both sync and push messaging) are free (with ads), Apple's tightly integrated MobileMe service isn't. Of course, you don't have to pay for MobileMe to use your iPhone; it works just as easily with Google's free services as Android does, and in some cases is actually better. MobileMe is also not very expensive. At $69/year (with a new phone purchase, or from Amazon), it's less than $6/month.

In its previous form under the name .Mac, Apple's cloud service made some sense for users who wanted a simple messaging and content sync service that just worked. When Apple made it part of iPhone OS 2.0, it greatly enhanced the service conceptually with push services. But push came to shove, and the service debuted in flames of catastrophe.

Since that rough introduction, Apple has resolved its availability issues and introduced new apps that expose the services' features: iDisk for cloud file access, Gallery for uploaded pictures and movies, and most recently, Find My Phone, in addition to the built in apps that support sync: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes. At the same time, Apple has now downplayed MobileMe's web hosting services, focusing its efforts on mobile cloud sync between iOS devices and the Mac or Windows desktop.

MobileMe isn't the most generous file and web hosting service, and certainly isn't the cheapest email, calendar & contact cloud service (although it is very affordable compared to hosted Exchange or BlackBerry push messaging services). What it does offer is a pretty complete set of unique features in a single package from one vendor, complete with push messaging, email aliases (something that is not supported from Gmail, but is now fully and automatically supported as sendable email addresses in iOS 4), iDisk file sharing with password protected sharing (useful for sending large file attachments that are too big to email), Gallery for direct photo and movie sharing, web browser bookmark sync, and the Back To My Mac and Find My iPhone features.

Most of those features can be assembled from various third party offerings on Android phones, but doing so requires multiple accounts and different vendors to complain to when things stop working correctly. Roll MobileMe in with Apple's App Store, iBooks, and iTunes music, audiobooks and movies (with rentals, something Android is missing support for entirely), and you get one account and a bunch of services that all work pretty seamlessly through tight integration from one vendor.

That's not to say MobileMe and Apple's other cloud services are perfect; the company should really integrate Gallery into iOS 4's Photos app, and things like Notes sync (new in iOS 4) don't always appear to work flawlessly yet. However, just as Apple has kept the latest iPhone 4 ahead of Android in terms of hardware features (which it wasn't supposed to be able to do, given Android's multiple hardware partners), it's also managed to keep its cloud features a couple steps ahead of Google's (also a seemingly improbable task, given Google's apparent home court advantage in offering cloud-based services), while also offering a solid foundation of "non-cloud" services within iTunes, something that no other smartphone maker has caught up with yet.



On page 3 of 3: Exchange Server & open enterprise cloud services support.

Exchange Server support

Apple originally marketed MobileMe as "Exchange for the rest of us," but the company also built Exchange ActiveSync support into iPhone OS 2.0 in order to also support push messaging for corporate users.

While the Android OS offers rudimentary support for Exchange Server sync, it fails to handle the remote wipe and other administration features (such as fleet provisioning and centralized enforcement of security policies) that Apple has increasingly perfected for iPhone users over the past two years.

Android hardware also lacks support for hardware encryption, making the devices ineligible for support by the default security policy of Exchange Server. Third party software for Android can only improve the situation by misrepresenting the security profile of the phone to fool Exchange into supporting Android phones. Apple's iPhone 3GS introduced hardware encryption features last year, but newer Android phones such as the Google Nexus One and Motorola Verizon Droid still don't support corporate use.

Additionally, part of Android's "openness" means that apps don't have to be signed by a trusted Certificate Authority; anyone can self-sign an app and distribute it. In fact, most Android apps are self-signed due to the hobbyist nature of the Android Marketplace. That does not make Android phones attractive to corporate users working in a secure environment.

Apple requires that all iOS apps in the App Store are signed using a developer certificate it issues, enabling it to revoke certificates for rogue apps or malicious developers. While Apple offers its corporate users tools to distribute their own internal apps using self-signed certificates, the App Store library is curated and secure, setting it apart from the shareware nature of Android and its app library using meaningless, randomly sourced self-signed certificates.



Open enterprise cloud services support

In addition to its own MobileMe service and support for Exchange Server ActiveSync (which is also used to give iOS devices sync support for Google's Gmail and Google Calendar cloud services), Apple is also building open source, standards based calendar and contact services in Mac OS X Server. iOS 4 adds support for the emerging CalDAV and CardDAV protocols used by Mac OS X Server, which are also supported by other third party products including Kerio, Scalix, Yahoo Calendar and Zimbra.

As open specifications, CalDAV and CardDAV enable companies and institutions to set up their own messaging servers and enable their mobile clients to access these using iOS 4. Google is a member of the teams working on CalDAV and CardDAV, and has added CalDAV support to its own Google Calendar cloud service.

Android still lacks support for either protocol however, leaving its users largely tied to Google's ad-supported cloud services. Because that's the core of Google's business model, Android is not likely to rapidly move toward embracing open standards for enterprise cloud services, nor greatly enhance its support for Exchange Server. As a hardware vendor, Apple has strong motivations to improve in both areas.

The next segment in this series will look at how Android offerings compare against iOS 4 in terms of the mobile carriers available.
post #2 of 47
That's what I think is really interesting. My friend gave up his iPhone for the Nexus One and we've found that while I, with my iPhone, use about 1GB per month of data, because of Google's cloud service, he uses about 4-5 GB.

It seems as though if AT&T forced all of us to get rid of the unlimited plan, it would be Google users who are screwed, not *most* iPhone users.
post #3 of 47
As long as Apple charges for MobileMe the vast majority of people are not going to use it. I know lots of people with iPhones - some are Windows users, some have Macs - but none of them use MobileMe. The Google services, especially gmail, is extremely popular.
post #4 of 47
If you look at what Apple's doing, they are more interested in providing the software to access those "cloud" services than providing those services.

But if they have the software to access those services, they might one day be providing those services, you never know.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

As long as Apple charges for MobileMe the vast majority of people are not going to use it. I know lots of people with iPhones - some are Windows users, some have Macs - but none of them use MobileMe. The Google services, especially gmail, is extremely popular.

All Apple has to do is role in the cost with the Telco.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac31 View Post

That's what I think is really interesting. My friend gave up his iPhone for the Nexus One and we've found that while I, with my iPhone, use about 1GB per month of data, because of Google's cloud service, he uses about 4-5 GB.

It seems as though if AT&T forced all of us to get rid of the unlimited plan, it would be Google users who are screwed, not *most* iPhone users.

It's because of his own individual usage, not the cloud services. I don't think I even reach 1gb a month
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In its previous form under the name .Mac, Apple's cloud service made some sense for users who wanted a simple messaging and content sync service that just worked. When Apple made it part of iPhone OS 2.0, it greatly enhanced the service conceptually with push services. But push came to shove, and the service debuted in flames of catastrophe.

My friend J. writes on her facebook page:

"MobileMe SUCKS!

It's slow. It shows the wrong times on the calendar. (Yes, I'm in the correct time zone.) Find My iPhone isn't working. It wasn't syncing anything for a day.

If I'm paying $100/year for this service, I sort of expect it to work. I'm funny that way."
-------
(She syncs iPhone and a Windows PC) She is a serious, professional user. this is her very real experience.

I am as big a fan of Apple as anyone, but I still think we need to acknowledge when they fail. It seems this is one case. I have heard of these problems for a long time. I would hope they would have fixed them by now.

I have to say that sometimes if feels like Apple is never listening.
post #8 of 47
Sigh... Another post that isn't Apple announcing an iPhone 4 recall and redesign. :<
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

As long as Apple charges for MobileMe the vast majority of people are not going to use it. I know lots of people with iPhones - some are Windows users, some have Macs - but none of them use MobileMe. The Google services, especially gmail, is extremely popular.

I pay for MobileMe. I like the very easy web/photo-gallery publishing. But mostly I rely on iDisk to provide secure storage for my writing - something that would be a real disaster to lose. (I also have multiple local copies but they do not cover fire or theft.)
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

My friend J. writes on her facebook page:

"MobileMe SUCKS!

It's slow. It shows the wrong times on the calendar. (Yes, I'm in the correct time zone.) Find My iPhone isn't working. It wasn't syncing anything for a day.

If I'm paying $100/year for this service, I sort of expect it to work. I'm funny that way."
-------
(She syncs iPhone and a Windows PC) She is a serious, professional user. this is her very real experience.

I am as big a fan of Apple as anyone, but I still think we need to acknowledge when they fail. It seems this is one case. I have heard of these problems for a long time. I would hope they would have fixed them by now.

I have to say that sometimes if feels like Apple is never listening.

I agree with every word you say and your friends experience. I've been in this club since day one (iTools anyone?) and still scratch my head at how slow it all is and where it's all going.

And yet I continue to pay the shilling because:

1, I like my email address
2, I'm scared s***less that the day I leave something really cool will happen with it
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

As long as Apple charges for MobileMe the vast majority of people are not going to use it. I know lots of people with iPhones - some are Windows users, some have Macs - but none of them use MobileMe. The Google services, especially gmail, is extremely popular.

I realize I am within a small minority, but I'll pay extra to avoid navigating around ads. I don't care for corporations or governments collecting data without my knowledge either.

Nowadays, the 'cloud' is quite a buzzword. This AI article points out something I had not fully appreciated before: that iTunes is a repository of acquired data under your control.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #12 of 47
Quote:
[iTunes] is unique among smartphone platforms (including Google's Android), all of which rely upon mobile carriers to deliver "over the air" software updates to their devices, and also rely upon such "cloud services" to provide device and data backup, media streaming and sales, online app and ebook stores, and push messaging services, including email and calendar events.

This is untrue.

Nokia smartphones use Nokia PC Suite, Microsoft smartphones use Windows Mobile Device Center and RIM smartphones use Blackberry Desktop. That's 70% of the market delivering software updates (and other services) via a desktop computer even before including Apple. It's only Android that relies on OTA software updates.
post #13 of 47
Uggh. I don't know how you reach the conclusion that Apple is ahead in cloud services. That's only debatably true if you are willing to pay for MobileMe. And that's based on your own argument that MobileMe is better than Google's services....a claim which is debatable. So how many people are willing to pay for MobileMe?

iPhone users are just lucky that Google isn't Microsoft. They work to enable many of their services on the iPhone. So you don't have to get an Android to use Gmail. That said Android's integration with the cloud is simply better. For example, that little tidbit from Google I/O you neglected : cloud to device integration for maps and web bookmarks on the Chrome browser.

Ultimately, when it comes to Google's cloud services on Android, it just works. Put in your email address during setup and your done. Android does the rest for you.

The rest of the complaints are nonsense. No computer backup? My Mac downloads my Gmail and Google calendars. That's sync right there. Or does it not count because it doesnt go through an iTunes filter?Doubletwist works great with iTunes. And the Amazon Kindle app should be good when released. Why should anybody care if the app is from Google or not?

There's many things the iOS does better than Android. Cloud services integration is not one of them....unless you spend an extra $6 per month. You may think that price is inconsequential. Most people don't. 70 bucks to do something the phone should do for free.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac31 View Post

That's what I think is really interesting. My friend gave up his iPhone for the Nexus One and we've found that while I, with my iPhone, use about 1GB per month of data, because of Google's cloud service, he uses about 4-5 GB.

It seems as though if AT&T forced all of us to get rid of the unlimited plan, it would be Google users who are screwed, not *most* iPhone users.

I call BS. Gmail on a Nexus One is no different than Gmail on the iPhone. Your friends data usage went up for other reasons.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

My friend J. writes on her facebook page:

"MobileMe SUCKS!

It's slow. It shows the wrong times on the calendar. (Yes, I'm in the correct time zone.) Find My iPhone isn't working. It wasn't syncing anything for a day.

If I'm paying $100/year for this service, I sort of expect it to work. I'm funny that way."
.

I bought my first iMac in 2007, and signed up to mobile me. In all that time its worked great its syncs my account and my wife's, we share the iMac, her iTouch, my iPhone and her iPad, all in real time no fuss or bother. For me the price is worth it.

I don't use the gallery much, or iDisk much, but for the syncing of contacts, email and calender alone its worth it.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Uggh. I don't know how you reach the conclusion that Apple is ahead in cloud services. That's only debatably true if you are willing to pay for MobileMe. And that's based on your own argument that MobileMe is better than Google's services....a claim which is debatable. So how many people are willing to pay for MobileMe?

Cost can be an issue, but you should compare to the two services on the features they do have and the user can decide if the cost is worth it. MobileMe is pretty competitive and offers a few features that Google doesn't. Yes, you can probably duplicate the functionality using a number of other apps and accounts for free or less money, but the experience isn't as good. It's not THAT much money if you value it just working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Ultimately, when it comes to Google's cloud services on Android, it just works. Put in your email address during setup and your done. Android does the rest for you.

The same can be said for MobileMe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

The rest of the complaints are nonsense. No computer backup? My Mac downloads my Gmail and Google calendars. That's sync right there. Or does it not count because it doesnt go through an iTunes filter?Doubletwist works great with iTunes. And the Amazon Kindle app should be good when released. Why should anybody care if the app is from Google or not?

There's many things the iOS does better than Android. Cloud services integration is not one of them....unless you spend an extra $6 per month. You may think that price is inconsequential. Most people don't. 70 bucks to do something the phone should do for free.

I don't think you understand the iPhone backup. It's not just backing up your contacts or events. It backs up everything. All your apps, the data in your apps, the settings you have on your apps. Lose you iPhone or have to get a replacement? Plug it back in to your machine and everything expect passwords is restored. Absolutely painless. No one else comes close to offering such a painless backup and store as Apple does with the iPhone. Dan is right, that single feature will probably keep me with the iPhone until someone else offers the same thing. It's that good.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

My friend J. writes on her facebook page:

"MobileMe SUCKS!

It's slow. It shows the wrong times on the calendar. (Yes, I'm in the correct time zone.) Find My iPhone isn't working. It wasn't syncing anything for a day.

If I'm paying $100/year for this service, I sort of expect it to work. I'm funny that way."
-------
(She syncs iPhone and a Windows PC) She is a serious, professional user. this is her very real experience.

I am as big a fan of Apple as anyone, but I still think we need to acknowledge when they fail. It seems this is one case. I have heard of these problems for a long time. I would hope they would have fixed them by now.

I have to say that sometimes if feels like Apple is never listening.

I hate these stupid inflammatory posts which don't give any specifics.

My experience with MobileMe is that IT WORKS VERY WELL, and is entirely worth $100/year. I love the syncing and iDisk large file transfers and use them daily.

The Find My iPhone feature has worked for me the one or two times I've used it, but is like insurance: the less often you need it the better, the best solution, like with insurance, being simply to keep good track of your belongings.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I agree with every word you say and your friends experience. I've been in this club since day one (iTools anyone?) and still scratch my head at how slow it all is and where it's all going.

And yet I continue to pay the shilling because:

1, I like my email address
2, I'm scared s***less that the day I leave something really cool will happen with it

What a weird, back-handed compliment for a good service!

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post

Cost can be an issue, but you should compare to the two services on the features they do have and the user can decide if the cost is worth it. MobileMe is pretty competitive and offers a few features that Google doesn't. Yes, you can probably duplicate the functionality using a number of other apps and accounts for free or less money, but the experience isn't as good. It's not THAT much money if you value it just working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post

The same can be said for MobileMe.

Except you have to pay for it. And I don't care if it's $1 or $70, it's dollars. And that matters. I don't know about where you live, but here in Canada, the iPhone is only offered on networks that already charge high rates. So in effect, you are already paying a monthly premium for the mere privilege of owning an iPhone. To have to add $6 on top of that for what should be basic functionality in this day and age for a smartphone is egregious. In essence you are adding the price of MobileMe to the phone every year, just to achieve functionality that Android gives for free. Over a 3 year contract (the norm in Canada), you'll pay more MobileMe than you do for the iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post

I don't think you understand the iPhone backup. It's not just backing up your contacts or events. It backs up everything. All your apps, the data in your apps, the settings you have on your apps. Lose you iPhone or have to get a replacement? Plug it back in to your machine and everything expect passwords is restored. Absolutely painless. No one else comes close to offering such a painless backup and store as Apple does with the iPhone. Dan is right, that single feature will probably keep me with the iPhone until someone else offers the same thing. It's that good.

Google does your contacts and events. But it also backs up your SMS and MMS. To the best of my knowledge iTunes does not do that. Correct me if I am wrong here. And as of FroYo, developers now have the option of enabling the backup of app data. Yes, it's developer driven, but it's there. Heck, if you use iGoogle, your search history is backed up too! And if you buy music and movies from Amazon. Well that's backed up by Amazon. Does it really matter if it's Google or Amazon backing up your music?

But let's look at the model itself. Unless you have MobileMe, nothing is backed up until you sync your iPhone with iTunes. If you have not docked in a while, and you lose your phone, you'll lose data....and most importantly it's stuff like contacts, sms, etc. With Google, you lose nothing. Everytime you put in something into your phone it's synced to the cloud. And that's how a smartphone should be. You shouldn't need a computer at all. And Apple is fully capable of pulling that off. But for some reason they insist on making you use a computer. Why?

I am not saying Android is flawless. There's lots of room to improve for them. And I do wish they'd come up with an iTunes style plug in to sync with a machine. But for stuff that really matters, like your contacts, events, emails, sms, etc. Google is better at keeping that repository current.

Apple needs to make MobileMe free or offer some free variant with a basic service. And then focus on weening the iPhone off iTunes.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Google does your contacts and events. But it also backs up your SMS and MMS. To the best of my knowledge iTunes does not do that. Correct me if I am wrong here. And as of FroYo, developers now have the option of enabling the backup of app data. Yes, it's developer driven, but it's there. Heck, if you use iGoogle, your search history is backed up too! And if you buy music and movies from Amazon. Well that's backed up by Amazon. Does it really matter if it's Google or Amazon backing up your music?

iTunes does backup everything, including chat and browsing history. Requiring developer support is horrible in comparison. But yeah, cloud based backups would be an excellent addition!
post #21 of 47
You could set up Gmail as an exchange account and sync your contacts and calendars.

Matter of fact I've done it for customers who don't have computers (or more likely is not working because of a virus) sending iPhones away for repair, set up a gmail account from their iPhone, set it up as an Exchange account and synced their contacts.

When the replacement handset comes back, set up gmail again and all the contacts are synced back.

MobileMe provides ANOTHER option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Except you have to pay for it. And I don't care if it's $1 or $70, it's dollars. And that matters. I don't know about where you live, but here in Canada, the iPhone is only offered on networks that already charge high rates. So in effect, you are already paying a monthly premium for the mere privilege of owning an iPhone. To have to add $6 on top of that for what should be basic functionality in this day and age for a smartphone is egregious. In essence you are adding the price of MobileMe to the phone every year, just to achieve functionality that Android gives for free. Over a 3 year contract (the norm in Canada), you'll pay more MobileMe than you do for the iPhone.



Google does your contacts and events. But it also backs up your SMS and MMS. To the best of my knowledge iTunes does not do that. Correct me if I am wrong here. And as of FroYo, developers now have the option of enabling the backup of app data. Yes, it's developer driven, but it's there. Heck, if you use iGoogle, your search history is backed up too! And if you buy music and movies from Amazon. Well that's backed up by Amazon. Does it really matter if it's Google or Amazon backing up your music?

But let's look at the model itself. Unless you have MobileMe, nothing is backed up until you sync your iPhone with iTunes. If you have not docked in a while, and you lose your phone, you'll lose data....and most importantly it's stuff like contacts, sms, etc. With Google, you lose nothing. Everytime you put in something into your phone it's synced to the cloud. And that's how a smartphone should be. You shouldn't need a computer at all. And Apple is fully capable of pulling that off. But for some reason they insist on making you use a computer. Why?

I am not saying Android is flawless. There's lots of room to improve for them. And I do wish they'd come up with an iTunes style plug in to sync with a machine. But for stuff that really matters, like your contacts, events, emails, sms, etc. Google is better at keeping that repository current.

Apple needs to make MobileMe free or offer some free variant with a basic service. And then focus on weening the iPhone off iTunes.
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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

You could set up Gmail as an exchange account and sync your contacts and calendars.

Matter of fact I've done it for customers who don't have computers (or more likely is not working because of a virus) sending iPhones away for repair, set up a gmail account from their iPhone, set it up as an Exchange account and synced their contacts.

When the replacement handset comes back, set up gmail again and all the contacts are synced back.

MobileMe provides ANOTHER option.

Right. But doesn't that erode the argument that Apple is way better at cloud services? It's not plug in your email and password and done.

Essentially, Apple does not do cloud services unless you pay for it or use non-Apple services. So how then can Daniel say that Apple does cloud integration better. Heck, he cited iTunes on your computer as proof. Yet, if you have no computer access, you have no cloud at all.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlacz View Post

It's not just backing up your contacts or events. It backs up everything. All your apps, the data in your apps, the settings you have on your apps. Lose you iPhone or have to get a replacement? Plug it back in to your machine and everything expect passwords is restored. Absolutely painless. No one else comes close to offering such a painless backup and store as Apple does with the iPhone. Dan is right, that single feature will probably keep me with the iPhone until someone else offers the same thing. It's that good.

Agree whole heartedly.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Right. But doesn't that erode the argument that Apple is way better at cloud services? It's not plug in your email and password and done.

I am not quite sure what you are inferring here.

I won't be getting the new iPhone till next month, but that's all I had to do on my iPad a few weeks ago.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Except you have to pay for it [MobileMe]. And I don't care if it's $1 or $70, it's dollars. And that matters.

You're ignoring the fact that you pay for using Google services, as well. I'd rather pay cash for MobileMe than turn over my entire life to Google. YMMV.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

I hate these stupid inflammatory posts which don't give any specifics.

How did that post NOT give specifics? It stated that the calendar shows the wrong times, that "Find my iPhone" wasn't working, and that it refused to sync for a day? How much more specific could they get? And how is any of that any worse than your anecdotal comments about MobileMe just working for you?
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Right. But doesn't that erode the argument that Apple is way better at cloud services? It's not plug in your email and password and done.

Essentially, Apple does not do cloud services unless you pay for it or use non-Apple services. So how then can Daniel say that Apple does cloud integration better. Heck, he cited iTunes on your computer as proof. Yet, if you have no computer access, you have no cloud at all.

The subject under debate is Phone/iOS and its integration with cloud services.

The iPhone allows syncing with MobileMe. Plug in your email and password and done. But this costs money and not everyone has it, so...

The iPhone allows syncing with Google's services. Plug in your email and password and done (OK, so there are a couple of extra steps, see http://www.google.com/support/mobile...40&topic=14252).

The iPhone also allows syncing with arbitrary third party services (IMAP, CalDAV, CardDAV). This isn't quite as simple to set up, but the option is there.

So with the iPhone, I have the option of using Google's services. I can choose to pay for MobileMe if I prefer the feature set / lack of ads / etc. I can elect not to trust *any* cloud data provider with my data and do everything on a PC via iTunes. Or I can host my own Zimbra instance and have contacts, calendar and email synced wirelessly with my phone and all the same data available natively on my Macs without having to trust either Google or Apple with my personal data.

As for which cloud service is best, it doesn't really matter. It's likely that the decision about which cloud service you choose to use rests with more than your choice of phone (well, at least if you are an iPhone user). I'm not trying to claim that MobileMe is or isn't better than Google's cloud services - with the iPhone you are free to use either. Clearly the Google services have an advantage in that they are free at point of use, and they also have significantly more users which implies better support and reliability.

What are you claiming that Android does better in this area?
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

And as of FroYo, developers now have the option of enabling the backup of app data.

This would be the point where developers have to decide between using this new FroYo feature or making their app actually available to the majority of the Android user base (the non-existent fragmentation issue).

Quote:
Everytime you put in something into your phone it's synced to the cloud. And that's how a smartphone should be.

Unless it's in an app. In which case with iPhone you have to hope you've plugged your phone in recently, with Android you have to hope that the app developer takes care of you - which prior to FroYo means implementing their own backup strategy. On an app by app basis.

Quote:
I am not saying Android is flawless. There's lots of room to improve for them. And I do wish they'd come up with an iTunes style plug in to sync with a machine. But for stuff that really matters, like your contacts, events, emails, sms, etc. Google is better at keeping that repository current.

And iPhone is equally capable of syncing all that (with the exception of SMS) with Google, MobileMe, or a third party Exchange or IMAP/CalDAV/etc. provider.

In the context of Internet arguments about Google and iOS, it's quite strange to see people arguing that Android's lack of choice is an advantage. Usually it's the other way around...
Quote:
Apple needs to make MobileMe free or offer some free variant with a basic service. And then focus on weening the iPhone off iTunes.

I disagree with a lot of what you said, but I agree this is a good idea. More options are always good, and with Apple pitching their future where full-featured computers are "trucks" and most people are using cut down iOS-style devices they surely have a plan in place for this...
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by splidge View Post

The subject under debate is Phone/iOS and its integration with cloud services.

The iPhone allows syncing with MobileMe. Plug in your email and password and done. But this costs money and not everyone has it, so...

The iPhone allows syncing with Google's services. Plug in your email and password and done (OK, so there are a couple of extra steps, see http://www.google.com/support/mobile...40&topic=14252).

The iPhone also allows syncing with arbitrary third party services (IMAP, CalDAV, CardDAV). This isn't quite as simple to set up, but the option is there.

So with the iPhone, I have the option of using Google's services. I can choose to pay for MobileMe if I prefer the feature set / lack of ads / etc. I can elect not to trust *any* cloud data provider with my data and do everything on a PC via iTunes. Or I can host my own Zimbra instance and have contacts, calendar and email synced wirelessly with my phone and all the same data available natively on my Macs without having to trust either Google or Apple with my personal data.

As for which cloud service is best, it doesn't really matter. It's likely that the decision about which cloud service you choose to use rests with more than your choice of phone (well, at least if you are an iPhone user). I'm not trying to claim that MobileMe is or isn't better than Google's cloud services - with the iPhone you are free to use either. Clearly the Google services have an advantage in that they are free at point of use, and they also have significantly more users which implies better support and reliability.

What are you claiming that Android does better in this area?

.mac//mobile me sucks right now
apple is so under staffed in 5 or 6 area'a that updates show up yrs late
just look at file maker pro
the best biz SW company ever
yet apple barely even pays FM PRO attention. benito took 8 yrs to emerge. apple needs to hire about 200 to 600 top SW engineers to give all of apple's device area;s clean updates .
mobile me is way over priced for what it does
i own 5 working macs and the sync process is so convoluted >> yet all 6 macs are exactly the same in all ways to each other.

putting all it attention on ipads and iphones leaves other great area's lacking
apple should split into 3 companies or steve jobs should be fired

the great stuff apple does may wow all you wintel dudes but os 9.2 is still the best OS ever ..osx+ one day may be that rock solid ,,maybe
apple can do so much more ..again hire more people or fire jobs for mis management of resourses

today apple spends more time writing code for wintel machines that sync ipods / iphones ipads
that it does for pure play mac users
the weak mobile me and yes its getting even weaker
can be and should be for $99 yr after yr a true cloud service not just a way station for newbie pad pod iphone user's coming from the wintel world ..

whew


9

sorry no caps folks
this is the internet not a writing class
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I agree with every word you say and your friends experience. I've been in this club since day one (iTools anyone?) and still scratch my head at how slow it all is and where it's all going.

And yet I continue to pay the shilling because:

1, I like my email address
2, I'm scared s***less that the day I leave something really cool will happen with it

I feel the same way. Aspects of Mobile Me are great, but the implementation still has a ways to go.
post #31 of 47
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the term "cloud" rubs me the wrong way.

How the hell did that term become the newest fad anyway? We've been using "cloud services" for decades and never referred to it as such until recently. Time to go tell my mainframe it has been renamed.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the term "cloud" rubs me the wrong way.

How the hell did that term become the newest fad anyway? We've been using "cloud services" for decades and never referred to it as such until recently. Time to go tell my mainframe it has been renamed.

You've got it right; the buzzword then was 'timeshare'.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

... With Google, you lose nothing. ...

Nothing but your privacy and control over your own data, until the inevitable "outage" occurs, in which case you lose everything at least temporarily, perhaps permanently.

As the article points out, with iOS, you have choices. You can depend entirely on your local iTunes backup, which costs you nothing, allows you to keep control of your data and protect your privacy, and is as reliable as you make it. You can use MobileMe if it's important to you to push your data through the cloud. And you can even use Google's services if you want to give your data to someone who will browse through it to learn all they can about you.

With Android, you get to give your data to Google so they can do as they wish with it. If you want to back it up under your own control, you'll have to take extra steps, incur extra cost to do so.

The basic question is, do you want to be in control of your data and your privacy, iOS, or do you want to give up control of that to Google, Android, a company that has repeatedly shown that it respects no boundaries, no privacy, no law?

This issue takes us back to some of the reasons the "personal computer" was created in the first place: to give individuals the ability to decide for themselves when and how they used computing resources and give them privacy and personal control of that experience. Apple's strategy is entirely in line with that original purpose, a purpose which is even more relevant today than then. Google's strategy is to strip away that experience, to take away personal control of computing and privacy, to become the gatekeeper even of our own information.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post

It's because of his own individual usage, not the cloud services. I don't think I even reach 1gb a month

Except that almost nothing he uses on his phone actually exists on it. For instance, all of his photos he views over the cloud, which means every time he views a picture it's using data. He didn't use nearly so much when he had his iPhone. I can't believe individual usage changes THAT much just by getting a different phone. It's how Google handles data.
post #35 of 47
All this talk of the "cloud" seem to have value UNTIL you decide two things:

1. My data and software belong to ME and reside somewhere that I control.

2. If I purchase the software I need, and keep it on my computer/server I do not need to depend on an outside service that can either fail temporarily or lose all your data.

Think of the last time you tried to do online banking and discovered that some update in progress at the bank prevented you from using a service for an hour or so. Irritating, yes. Disaster? No. but now think of leaving your data (whatever is important to you...your new novel, your banking information, your music, photos of your loved ones, etc. You know, all the stuff you can't reasonably replace) and have an outside service lose it. They would certainly be sorry and apologize, but would that be enough for you?

Even if you backup to Time Machine, if you do not have a second, recent, backup outside your home in a fireproof vault, you are begging for trouble and heartache.

How often might this happen. Very rarely. How often does it have to happen to be a personal disaster? Only once. Remember that things never happen until they happen, and things that never happened before happen all the time.
SkyKing
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SkyKing
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

What a weird, back-handed compliment for a good service!

Thank you. I take it you don't agree?
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #37 of 47
Hey guys, remember that Dan is offering his insight into how things will work in the future, including what iPhones and Android phones can do over hosted sites, rather than discussing the problems of using iPhones or Android phones now. That is going to change soon. Remember that Apple is building out a billion-dollar server farm.

Let me guess, when that opens, one way or another it will offer services that are different and better than anything Apple, Google or Microsoft currently offers
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Nothing but your privacy and control over your own data, until the inevitable "outage" occurs, in which case you lose everything at least temporarily, perhaps permanently

Excellent post. Come on people, do you know what 'data mining' means?

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #39 of 47
Dan's article is informative but not complete. missing is info on the "cloud" productivity suites - Google Docs, etc. vs. iWork. here Google is much more advanced while iWorks is still a 'work in process'. that is important. also missing are the cloud 'sharing' services integrated into Android. MobileMe's Gallery is very nice for personal use, but Picasa is much more of a public thing as well. and then there are special Google services like Google Voice that have no analogue in Apple.

i wish Dan would update his charts after comments point out various items to add or clarify, but think he almost never does. it's really hard for anyone to get any chart like this 100% right/complete the first time. it's great that he tries, but he should finish it off.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Sigh... Another post that isn't Apple announcing an iPhone 4 recall and redesign. :<

Way to stay on topic.
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