What do you think of iCloud?

We asked, and you surprised us with your answers. Many of you don't think much of iCloud. But perhaps you got off to a bad start because of the glitchy launch. First impressions are so important in any new relationship.

Yesterday, Apple flipped the switch on iCloud in conjunction with a rash of supporting software updates, including iOS 5. Getting those updates was no easy matter, as Ed Oswald reported yesterday and many of you also shared. iCloud is Apple's new connected synchronization service, which replaces iTunes as major sync hub and offers a rash of new capabilities. But to really get it, many of you have to persevere through more updates than I've seen necessary from Apple in years. The service also isn't working quite right for many of you, in a cascade of glitches that reminds of the catastrophic launch of MobileMe three years ago.

Commenter shockme writes:

I ended up having to download:

  • iTunes 10.5
  • Max OS X Lion 10.7.2
  • New baseband for iPhone
  • iOS 5 for iPhone
  • iOS 5 for iPad
  • Move MobileMe to iCloud and enable it on all my iOS 5 devices

A few GBs later and now I'll never have to use that damn cable and iTunes again.

"I was lucky enough to have a short work day today (honestly, not because of the iOS 5 update)", writes BetaNews reader Tim Harbison. "Started the download about 15:00 -- finally finished downloading at 17:00. Took half a dozen attempts to update and that finally finished, along with restoring the media, at around 18:00".

People wanting full iCloud benefits need to go through similar update process, which wasn't easy yesterday. Among them: Synchronization of content across all iOS 5 devices via iCloud. But it was overly much for some people.

"The servers being slammed on update day is typical" shockme asserts. "But the interface for updating devices is never on the correct page and it never remembers my settings with regard to the crap I don't want on each device. Damn thing tried to download three years worth of podcasts even though it was clear they wouldn't fit and though I expressly asked for only five of them".

Reader bodean is having better luck: "Its nice to have my music that I get on my iPhone, available to me when I'm on the road with my iPad via cloud".

"I don't really see the need for iCloud", mshulman comments. "I personally would much rather have my content stored online and access it online and there are already so many ways to do that".

Commenter ghostface147 agrees:

I've been using iCloud since the beta stages. It gets the job done, but for me, iCloud is currently a problem for one reason...No interface to manage it. I'd love to use photostream, but I want to be able to manage what shows up on my other devices. I don't mind them all getting uploaded at once, but it needs to let me manage it before I have another iOS/Mac turned on.

I work in IT and I take pictures of assests with my i4. I don't want those on photostream. Fine you say, turn it off while you take those pics. Nope. It deletes your current photo library in iCloud (at least that's what I understand happens, if I'm wrong, correct me). Just a management interface, whether on a OS X or an iOS app -- that's all we need.

Apple has retired MobileMe, which will remain available to existing subscribers until next summer. To use iCloud, MobileMe users must migrate. That process proved troublesome for some of you. John1jim: "I had trouble setting up mail on the Mac. I had to delete the MobileMe account 3 times before all the IMAP folders appeared. And I had to manually reconfigure SMTP. It did not appear at first; same on Outlook for the PC. And I still can't get calendar to work on Outlook".

Mark Burford has "not been able to send any emails at all using Apple Mail with any of my various email accounts" after moving to iCloud.

People, I can only use what you provide, and this post represents early iCloud reaction here at BetaNews. From my vantage point it looks like Apple muffed iCloud's launch as badly as MobileMe in 2008. I contend that iCloud is Apple's killer application. But that's only true if people use or want to use it -- or that the cloud service works. As I wrote earlier, first impressions are important in any relationship.

Are you having better experience with iCloud than these folks? Please tell us all in comments.

Photo Credit: Ralf Juergen Kraft/Shutterstock

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