Several months ago, I decided to try out iCloud on my PC, so I could help my clients who have iPhones and/or iPads. Since I use Google Apps for Business, my contacts and calendars are synchronized among my computers and phone. My plan was to use iCloud to synchronize contacts and calendar for my only iOS device, an iPod Touch. Conceptually, it’s not very complicated: plug iCloud into Outlook on my PC and synchronize via iCloud to my iPod Touch. If iCloud software couldn’t do what it was supposed to do, it wouldn’t work. In my mind, that was the worst-case scenario. When the installation failed, I thought that was it. Then I noticed that the contacts and calendar were gone from my phone. Next, I logged in to my Google accounts, and they were gone from there, as well. Of course, they were also gone from Outlook, although there was an empty iCloud sync folder.
Had the installation simply failed, I would have forgiven Apple for being unable to do what I wanted it to do, in a more complex environment than many have. But to delete my contacts and calendar before giving up is not ok. Fortunately, I was able to use my backups and prior versions on Google’s servers to reassemble my contacts and calendars, with only a loss of several hours time.
If you use Google Apps for Business or Microsoft Exchange, you may want to steer clear of iCloud.