Using The iCloud Web Apps

Does anyone really use Apple’s iCloud web apps in a browser? Well, I do! Besides using the default apps on my iPhone, I use iCloud a lot since I don’t have a Mac or iPad (for now). Apple’s web apps, albeit simplified, work soundly in both Microsoft’s Edge and Google’s Chrome browsers. Go figure.

Apple’s computing philosophy is to use native apps on-device. The “cloud” is only meant to sync your data between your devices, working auto-magically in the background. It’s more of a process than a place. Yet you can access most of your stuff via your modern browser of choice.

iCloud web apps

Altogether, there are twelve (12) iCloud web apps to use at one convenient web site:

  1. Mail
  2. Calendar
  3. Contacts
  4. Reminders
  5. Notes
  6. Pages
  7. Numbers
  8. Keynote
  9. iCloud Drive
  10. Photos
  11. Find Friends
  12. Find iPhone

To make these web-based apps work more like native ones, I like to create a browser shortcut with an icon on my taskbar. But I’ve found all the icons across the apps are the same: a gray Apple logo. The lack of differentiation isn’t helpful, so I just have one shortcut for all of iCloud.com.

In the middle of my Chromebook’s taskbar is the Apple logo!

taskbar icons

The iCloud.com web interface is typical of Apple: clean, simple, and organized. The features within each app are somewhat limited to the basics. But that is kind of a feature in itself; it’s by design. Keep it simple. Use just what you need. For the most part, I find they get the job done.

I rely on the Notes app, for example. It does a noteworthy job! (I had to that.) With folders and sub-folders crammed full of notes, they always sync between my iPhone and iCloud.com without problems. I think I’ve seen only a couple random hiccups here or there over the years. Overall, I trust my data is stable. And, yes, also secure.

If you have never given the iCloud.com website a chance, I think you’ll be surprised by what it offers.

Of course, if you already have multiple Apple devices and thus no need to ever look at iCloud in a browser, then you should already know how reliable it is. Why? Because it’s more than a website; it’s the service keeping all your on-device data up to date.

Now, I will mention a sore spot for many. Apple gives you 5GB of free data storage on iCloud. Free is good, thank you! But 5 gigabytes isn’t enough for storing photos. I subscribe to one of Apple’s larger storage plans, which I think are good values.

So what’s your experience with the iCloud site? Do you use it a lot or seldom? Do you have the unfortunate experience of sync issues with the iCloud service? Did you ever use MobileMe before iCloud replaced it?


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

Taking Note Of Evernote

Notable

Is it possible to geek out about notes? Would that be nerding out instead? Either way, as I like to trek through tech, I look for the best solutions. Many companies offer apps, services, or entire ecosystems. One that is the epitome-of-noteworthy is Evernote.


Best Notes Ever

This month, I re-discovered Evernote. The last time I really used it was 2014. Since then, I’ve relied on first-party apps: Apple Notes or Microsoft OneNote or Google Keep. I’ve switched between these over time, depending on the main computer I was using. (I’ve tried Simplenote and used Ulysses too.) They’re all great in their own ways, having pros and cons.

But Evernote sticks out. Unlike the big-three, it’s a third-party solution from a company dedicated to the task at hand: note taking. It’s mission is a singular focus on using notes to organize your life. This is Evernote’s expertise.

Also, I’ve been fond of the green elephant for a long time.

Being a blogger, writer, and thinker, I love jotting down or typing up what’s on my mind. It gets my thoughts out of my head in front of my eyes to see. It’s a satisfying process of organizing my brain.

Simply put: I note my notions.

All The Goods

The first thing that surprised me when I started trying out Evernote recently was the interface. It’s much cleaner and leaner than years prior, yet I found all the tools and features one might want. It’s polished now, and as I began using it, I noted (ahem) how easy it is.

Evernote uses a simple folder (called Notebooks) plus tagging system for organization. You can even have Stacks of Notebooks. To me, this makes a lot of sense. I’ve used apps that employ only a folder system and apps that utilize only tagging. While simplicity is a virtue, Evernote gives the option of both. It’s neither too little nor too much.

One of Evernote’s most impressive features is the Web Clipper. The thing is awesome! It’s easy to add it to your web browser. What I love about the clipper are all the options to share anything on the web to Evernote with precision and ease.

Let’s say you’re doing research online and find an article with a quote you want. You can grab the whole web page, just the quote alone, or simply bookmark it, to name but a few options. Then, without leaving the web page, you can file the content into any of your Evernote folders, tag the content, and add remarks to it. And this all takes place inside a simple elegant drop down window in your browser. It’s incredibly useful and well done!

All that is cool. But how reliable is Evernote? Can you trust it with the fruit of your mind? To that I can say in the span of about 10 days, I’ve added over 100 notes into various folders with tags, links, web clips, and have applied some text formatting. And I’ve done this on the iPhone app and both the Edge and Chrome browser on different computers. So far, everything has been syncing flawlessly.

Finally, one of my biggest reasons for relying on Evernote is because it’s cross-platform. Being a third-party service that works on the web and in smartphone apps, I can use it in Apple-land or in the Google-verse, for example. Evernote is cloud-first; I like living in the clouds.


Note To Future Self

I’ve jumped onto different note-taking platforms over the years. I gravitated towards the built-in notes app on whichever device I had because of its system-level integration. The default app is the easiest to choose and use.

Now I’m hoping and planning to stick with Evernote for the long haul since I can take notes on any device (iPhone, Chromebook), and because it has shown much improvement over time. Evernote will likely stay great or become greater.


What’s your fave note app? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!