Apple’s customers have a number of very good choices for online storage. They range from iCloud to Dropbox, from Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive, and a bunch of others with slightly better prices than the giants but with plenty of reasons to avoid.
I have both Google and Microsoft’s cloud services on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but I don’t use them for much. Why not?
The name of the game for online storage is usability and I can’t get much use from Google and Microsoft’s cloud services because not enough of the applications I use on Mac, iPhone, and iPad incorporate access to the third tier of cloud storage services.
That’s where iCloud and Dropbox lead.
As expected, iCloud has more than Dropbox but the latter has some tools that make it a worthy contender. The latest Dropbox version for macOS is a desktop app that actually brings other cloud services together which makes it easier to share content from Google Docs and Sheets and Slides (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and Microsoft Office online.
All of that can be handled inside the new Dropbox desktop app for the Mac.
Yeah, you will be kinda sorta mostly a beta tester and may need to wait awhile until Dropbox rolls out the upgrade to other devices, but if they get it right then you’ll see a very good reason to use Dropbox along with iCloud or even as an iCloud replacement.
I have three main reasons why I choose iCloud and Dropbox over other cloud services.
The first is applications. iCloud gets attached to more applications on Mac, iPhone, and iPad than any other online service– including Dropbox, a close second place finisher– and that makes it easier to integrate those apps into your day-to-day workflow.
For example, I prefer Dropbox and 1Password to iCloud. Why? Dropbox syncs much faster. Yet, all the graphics I use for my online work these days stays on iCloud. Why? Speed isn’t as important, but price is.
Second, fast sync and reliability. Dropbox usually syncs files from one device to another faster than iCloud and that’s important for certain applications on each device. iCloud has improved reliability and dependability in recent years– hence it’s OK to put my work graphics on iCloud– but does not seem to match Dropbox.
Finally, Dropbox works well across platforms while iCloud does not. Yes, Windows PC users can have iCloud accounts; the app shows up on the Windows Store now, but Dropbox seems ubiquitous among online workers.
You’ll pay a bit more for for Dropbox vs. iCloud– $12 a month for 2TB of storage, vs. iCloud’s $10 per month for 2TB– but you get more tools and options that iCloud does not have.