If, as the article begins, "Apple understands that device backups are only useful when the process is automatic and done regularly, which is why the feature is baked into iOS and handled by iCloud," why does it take an article this long and complicated to begin to explain how to use it... ...and which left me with more questions at the end than I had at the beginning....??(I'm just back into a Mac being my primary machine after five years of Windows, btw, with most of my Mac experience being in Tiger on my 2004 iBook - which I'm still using for my bookkeeping program - so that's my context.)
Also, the Apple-centrism still bothers me to an extent, e.g., in the "back up by app" model (which, given that multiple apps may handle a given file type, kinda makes no sense, IMO. E.g., if I create an RTF doc in something other than TextEdit does it end up automatically in iCloud, or do I have to open and re-save it there? And I've already seen that when I "export" a Pages doc to the DOCX format it apparently doesn't go into iCloud even though it was created in Pages... ...and I will not be pushed into saving docs in a format I can't share with 90% + of the computing world. So, while the Pages UI has some real development work behind it, and is promising and fun, I've already installed Office. No double copies of everything and double saving every time I edit for me. One is enough to manage... ...so IMO the proprietary format, given that Pages imports and exports Word docs quite well, seems to add zero value (at least for typical docs), and makes it just another back-firing attempt at user lock-in that's guaranteed to keep Pages very much a niche option.
I noticed, though, that Pixelmator appeared in the screen shots above as an apparently iCloud supported 3rd party app. But I guess that doesn't mean I can get my Word Docs there too? Or does it?
And what about all the old TIFF, PSD, GIF and other files I use - and others like my years of WordPerfect files I continue to archive? What's Apple offering me there?
Meanwhile, if, as a 30 year PC/Mac user I can't wrap my head around and fully disambiguate the differences/similarities and relationships between a) iCloud, b) iCloud Drive, c) iTunes Match, d) whatever the photo solutions are (not all coming from my phone) - and whatever other parts of the Apple cloud backup mosaic I'm missing.......Maybe it all "just works".... ...but first I think a user needs to be able to grasp what's "just working" and how to manage it as a whole.
...NTM whether there are reasons (or needs) to combine Apple services with others, e.g., DropBox in crafting a whole computing solution (I still have a Windows machine, e.g., currently backed up on SugarSync).
Conceptually the notion of putting it all into one big Terabyte or more sized DropBox seems more intuitive to me... ...so if that's not true, what exactly am I missing here....??
Also, by virtue of being a GMail and Hotmail user I have Google Drives and One Drives and gods know what. Free Terabytes of new places to lose things I'd like forget I put there and not somewhere else...
Arrrgh....! [Insert clip of Linda Blair's head spinning from "the Exorcist" here].
Bottom line, just wanting to back up my stuff in the cloud and locally still seems like imperfect, tricky, gap-ridden and simultaneously overlapping rocket science to me... ...and I can't even imagine being in a family group where everyone's collection of gear is different... ...i.e., some with only Android and/or Windows gear, but an iPad or iPhone, etc., etc.And I can't imagine what users with little computing knowledge are to make of it all.... ...other than to ignore it and compute away at their own (non-backed up or partly backed up) peril.