in iOS Tips, Opinion, OS X Tips

A lot of application now offer the joint options of iCloud or Dropbox Sync to keep your settings, files and services both backed up and synced between devices. In many cases this can lead to either a haphazard approach or worse, using both services for one application.

I want to give you some brief ideas about how to setup and choose between using iCloud and Dropbox sync for your apps. With that in mind, here are a few quick questions to ask yourself to help you choose between using iCloud or Dropbox sync.

What Sync Options Do I have?

Some providers only give you one options, Dropbox or iCloud. In such a situation you’ve only got one choice so stick with it.

What Platforms Am I Going To Use This On?

Not everyone is an Apple only user, some have windows PCs and iOS devices, others have Macs with Android smart devices. If this is you then you might want to avoid iCloud as this is more limited on other platforms. Sure there are the webapps but they have limited integration compared with PC and Android devices, many of whom support Dropbox syncing as well.

Am I Going To Share This File With Others?

Sometimes you are going to want to share a file with other users to collaborate on, iCloud just isn’t there yet and Dropbox is far superior and has great support on different services. If there is a document you want to share around and work with others on, then Dropbox is probably a better bet.

Am I Going To Use This Document On Separate Apps Or Just One?

If you are going to use a text file in multiple applications then dropbox is generally easier to navigate through and open in multiple apps, iCloud is still a bit more fiddly there. However, I love iCloud Syncs simplicity where files for each app are kept separate. It makes it feel a bit like magic when I only have my files for that app in my documents.

Do I Really Want To Take Up Space On Dropbox?

I am currently still using a free version of Dropbox (extended by adding photos etc) while this is great not having to pay for the service, it also puts me off using it so I don’t run up against my limit. Compared to my Dropbox storage I don’t use anywhere near as much on iCloud. Maybe this will change in the future for me but at the moment I try and only use Dropbox if there is a huge incentive for doing so.

How Do You Choose?

These are my general questions I ask myself (usually subconsciously) about which sync service I should use for my service. Although there a lot of good reasons to favour dropbox over iCloud I do like iClouds simplicity for apps and I try to guard my Dropbox storage and not fill it needlessly.

Do you use iCloud, Dropbox or both to sync your data? How do you choose which one?

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