Apple iCloud Woes

A while ago, when I decided to go all in on iPad usage as much as possible I moved from Dropbox, which had served me well, to 100% iCloud file storage. This was for a couple of reasons, firstly at the time the Dropbox app did not play well with the iPads newly improved file system app, and required files be managed through the separate Dropbox app. While this worked it seemed to go against the spirit of what I was trying to achieve using the iPad, namely a system akin as possible to a Mac and complementary to the Mac mini being used as a back up and code compiler.

Secondly Dropbox had privacy issues and I jumped on the bandwagon of hysteria. It really does not matter to me if the files I put on cloud systems can be scanned, there is nothing there that would pique anybody's interest, and is probably more likely to induce narcolepsy than ring any warning bells.

So iCloud it was, and while the combination of my iPad and always on Mac seemed to work fine, the introduction of a new Macbook Pro late last year started to cause problems.

Anomalies began to appear, my laptop is not on all the time, I flit between coffee shops and the office, turning the laptop off for periods in between and sometimes for extended periods when I am in the office. iCloud does not sync instantly,seeming to run when it feels like it, often not managing to sync work done on the Macbook Pro before it was shut down. This really hit recently when the MacBook stopped syncing (I think). I scoured the internet tried several fixes off stack exchange and nothing seemed to provide a fix, or at least one I could definitely say was working.

Finally iCloud decided for itself I needed to upgrade my storage from the 200 gigabytes I pay for, as my paltry five gigabytes were for some reason filling cloud storage?

Apple seem to work on the assumption users do not need to know what is going on or its progress, that's fine if "it just works" as Apple used to be fond of saying. In the case of iCloud it doesn't work.

As I really did not want to leave the Macbook on all night, with sleep mode disabled, so I decided to take a copy of the documents directory on the Macbook which I knew were the most up to date, these are mainly text based code files and some images, five gigabytes or thereabouts. I transferred these to my Mac mini and reset iCloud. My expectation these would sync up overnight and i could reconnect my laptop.

But no, after some 12 hours it was (I think) still chugging away, apparently stuck according to the information bar in finder. A reboot, a couple of finder force quits and it was syncing again, although the little pie chart in the finder sidebar went from almost complete to just started and back again several times so who knows?

Enough was enough, back to Dropbox, which is currently running on the Mac Mini, dutifully uploading files at a rate of knots with visual feedback and an estimated completion time. Once this is finished I will simply connect the Macbook to Dropbox, which now also plays nicely with iOS files app as well.

This is not a whinge, I genuinely would prefer if iCloud just worked, but for me and the files I rely on to make a living but I just can not trust it at this time to perform reliably.