Dropbox vs. iCloud

Rachel Swaby for Wired:

But Dropbox’s success is now at a critical moment. Providing a way to give users access to everything they do on a computer from everywhere has become the brass ring for digital services. And Dropbox is the one to beat. After years of remaining largely below the radar of the world’s biggest computing companies, Dropbox is now faced with a host of very prominent competitors. The most immediate, of course, is Apple, whose iCloud service launched in October.

iCloud hits Dropbox hard on the simplicity and ease of use fronts because Apple has been working in this space from the beginning. iCloud may be cross platform averse, but its automatic syncing slices seconds from Dropbox’s drag-and-drop approach.

I really think Swaby misses the point with this.

iCloud may become a direct competitor of Dropbox’s, but at the purposes of the services are different at this point.

Dropbox’s main usage is to sync files; iCloud would have users sync data, hiding the individual files from the user interface. MobileMe’s iDisk was more of a direct competitor with Dropbox than iCloud is, as its primary use was syncing folders and files.

Apple’s wants to leapfrog this entire model with iCloud. iCloud may become the go-to solution of OS X and iOS users to sync data in the future, but right now, that’s just not true. Nerds still like files too much.