I’ve been slowly transitioning my mail, calendar, photo’s and file storage away from iCloud over the past 6-8 months. Not because of the fact that I do not like Apple products, but because of reliability of its services. I still love my macs and iOS devices, I’m just going to limit my use of iCloud to the absolute minimum. (device backup and shortcuts)
Having lost most of my movies stored in iCloud photo’s three years ago due to an error in iCloud, having to re-sort my shortcuts library after every reboot of my iPad (icloud bug in my profile), having files synced only after a few days (if at all) after I’ve created or changed them and having issues getting shared calendars to reliably sync I have had enough.
I’ve been using Nextcloud for files and photo syncing to and from my Synology as a “shadow solution” for months now, and it’s been rock-solid. It’s simple and robust software, very easy to setup and use.
- I control the entire setup:
- I can point at the box it’s running on in the server cabinet,
- I can physically pick up the device storing all my photos and files,
- I can point at my backup drives, and
- I can visit the backup drives at my relative’s house.
Nextcloud has a good iOS and macOS app, integrates with finder and files apps, and provides a solid calendar and contacts environment. Bonus: it’s completely cross-platform and I can use it anywhere I want, including on my linux boxes.
And if that’s not all, apart from the Synology, which I already used, the whole solution cost me a few Saturdays and around €250 for some 8TB drives and 2 raspberry pi 4’s (as Nextcloud and Off-site backup servers)
Where the Apple hardware has again made massive steps I feel the cloud services are lacking and seem to linger behind everything else in development. So, no, I’ve had enough and will “vote with my feet”
It was quite a problem getting my wife and children to use the “new toys” but as soon as they discovered they could now easily share photos, files and folders with their “green bubble” friends, they were in. (+ Since I’m the one responsible for “Family IT support” they did not have much choice.)
Stepping out of the iOS/macOS services sphere was not easy at the start, it took a while to find alternatives that work as well or better than the Apple solutions, but to me it was worth it, and I’m much happier knowing where my data is, having control of the entire stack and not paying the monthly 2TB subscription fee. The latter I would not have a problem with if the service was solid, but it just was not for us.