We have quite a few iDevices here at Stately Rice Manor – the iMac (aka Jake’s computer), the iPod, the MacBook (aka my computer) and the iPad (aka it’s-my-turn-give-it-to-me). All the important stuff – music, photos, contacts, etc., etc. – is synchronized via iCloud, which is pretty cool. But there are two things that I’d like to have on all my iGadgets, but which as yet refuse to do iCloud: financial data, and genealogy data.
For tracking household finances, I use iBank, which is…adequate. It doesn’t deserve any stronger praise than that. (But even adequate is a huge improvement over the execrable Quicken.) There’s an iOS app, so – in theory – I could have all that data on the iPad and/or iPhone. (The wisdom of keeping such sensitive information on a device that’s so easily lost or stolen is an open question. I have doubts.)
For genealogy, I – somewhat reluctantly – use Reunion. (Or plan to, anyway. Technically, I’m not using any genealogy software just now.) Again, there’s an iOS app, so I could carry around all my genealogy data on the iPad. (Which was one of my main reasons for wanting an iPad. That, and they’re pretty cool.)
In each case, though, the developers are ignoring iCloud in favor of their homebrew synchronization software. That makes me nervous. The first 90% of synchronization is easy, so that’s the part everybody does. The last 10% – edge cases, conflict resolution, reliability – is hard, and generally missing from do-it-yourself implementations. The result: everything works just peachy, for a while; and then – presto! – all your data vanishes.
I’m hoping that iBank & Reunion switch to iCloud soon. I’d feel better about using their iOS apps if they did.