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iCloud vs. Google’s cloud

This MG Siegler TechCrunch article really clarified Apple’s strategy for me. It makes much more sense here than I was getting from the coverage of Job’s talk. For example, it let me see the connection between the new Lion auto-incremental-save feature (which sounds incredibly useful on its own — I currently use ForeverSave to accomplish much the same) and iCloud: your applications will save invisibly, and will save to an invisible place.

Google’s mental model makes more sense to me: You should understand that you are saving your stuff to somewhere, rather than just have the confidence that they will show up on whatever set of devices you’re using. But my mental models for computing were formed back when computers were computers, not slates of glass that directly respond to the movement of your fingers as if the glass was skin. For those who think of laptops as iPads with non-removable keyboards, Apple’s strategy makes more sense. And the iPad generation is going to win simply by being smart enough to have been born later than me and my laptop buddies.

4 Responses to “iCloud vs. Google’s cloud”

  1. C’mon, the smart money has for decades been on the bet that computers would be come easier to use and more appliance-like as opposed to hobbies for nerds. (And I say that with love, I am one.)

    Objections to this remind me of people who said of metadata tagging, “but I WANT to file things in folders and create, remember and use my own organizational system for my 10,000 photographs!”

    Let the computer work for you, I say.

    Also reminds me of Jobs’ analogy of cars and pickup trucks. Most people just want to get to work; small cars are better for that. Some, however, will always need pickup trucks. Or something like that.

  2. ?? Why do you think I’m objecting? I’m saying that Apple’s approach is more appealing, especially to those who were brought up on PCs, and that it will win.

  3. Thing is, Google has has this since the launch of Docs, except that they handle multiple people editing the same document (Schiller explicitly said that send the document to someone else destroys the edit history in the keynote).
    See this account of how Sundar Pichai cancelled gDrive, because ‘files are so 1990s’.

    Apple’s iDisk, which is an excellent OS-integrated web-as-file-system, first shipped in 2000

    Now run that ‘file system in the cloud is Google’s model’ thing by me again…

    Google’s docs UI was refined by user testing to look more like MSFT, as that was the mental model users brought to it. But the ‘floppy disk icon to indicate save’ should have been buried with floppy disks

  4. I am not an Apple guy, but I don’t hate Apple either. I’ve just remained in the PC world and partly by inertia. This may mean I don’t understand Apple’s position adequately.

    “But you don’t need to know any of that. They just exist. Who cares where as long as they’re right there on all your devices when you need them? ” according to MG Siegler.

    But I DO want to know where my files are (letters about my patients are my primary concern) and I don’t want my files accessible by a hack on Apple’s computers, or by a rogue employee of Apple, or by my error. I use Dropbox to “transport” files but do not leave sensitive files in the cloud. If RSA, Lockheed, Sony, etc get hacked, why would we feel safe with Apple (or Google)?

    If I missed the point, let me know.

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