Today, I’m switching back to iCloud to sync my contacts, agenda and reminders. For two month, I’ve used a self-hosted OwnCloud.
After two month, the overall picture seems quite right. I can create a contact on my iPhone, knowing that I’ll find it on my iPad tomorrow, when I’ll need to send a mail. I can create an event in calendar, I’ll get the alert on my phone five minutes before it starts. Yet, the details are as always, what matter the most: Reminders sometimes take an app launch to start syncing, events locations get messed up. Sometimes it takes three tries to create a new calendar. I couldn’t import Vcards from iCloud, and had to drag and drop contacts from an address book to another.
And then there’s iCloud. Fortunately, I seem to be part of the one-percent of users never concerned by iCloud failures. And iCloud gets those little pluses, those little things that make it feel seamless —again, when you’re lucky enough that it doesn’t fail. You can create reminders lists without getting empty corresponding calendars. You can add iCloud users as invitees and be sure they’ll get the notification. You can access all your data from the same place in your browser. You get that feeling that all your data interacts, that everything is linked —much like in real life, actually.
I switched to OwnCloud for a reason: I wanted to own my data, to be sure not to depend on Apple’s servers for my contacts, my calendars. Like I had done with the e-mail provider earlier, I wanted to host my own server. On the paper, it’s a nice thing to do. But pros and cons must be carefully evaluated. What is the perfect solution to somebody might be the worse for someone else, and the choice should be made according to the way you plan to use things.
Sure enough, having control over my data is important to me. But I have local copies, and I’m not working for a highly-confidential agency, nor am I afraid of Apple closing its services for the moment. So yes, my contacts and reminders will be on Apple’s servers, somewhere in the USA. But the small satisfaction of having them closer, on a shared hosting drive, isn’t worth all the small drawbacks I experience everyday since two months —which often sum up as headaches at the end of the day.