One Downside of iCloud Replacing MobileMe: Third-Party Mac App Uncertainty

Bare Bones Software’s Yojimbo FAQ:

Q: Can I use Yojimbo with iCloud?

A: All existing versions of Yojimbo require MobileMe to perform Mac-to-Mac syncing; they will not work with iCloud.

Thus, if you wish to continue syncing Yojimbo, you should not convert your account to use iCloud at this time. (Apple will continue to offer MobileMe service through June 30, 2012.)

We do intend to support iCloud in a future version of Yojimbo (well before the MobileMe sunset date). However, since we are still investigating related technical issues, we don’t yet have a concrete answer; as soon as we do, we’ll post info on our website.

The loss of MobileMe syncing in Yojimbo is the only sore spot I’ve run into after switching my MobileMe account to iCloud. MobileMe syncing in Yojimbo worked great; now, because I’ve moved to iCloud, it’s gone.

Now, long-term, this might prove to be a boon for Mac developers like Bare Bones, because iCloud is free, and MobileMe is not, so, eventually, when Yojimbo supports iCloud for syncing, far more users should be willing and able to take advantage of that. But iCloud storage for Mac developers, though promising, is still a bag of question marks.

Here’s a big one: will iCloud storage for Mac apps be restricted to App Store apps? That’s been a question since WWDC in June and Apple has yet to answer it. My gut feeling/semi-informed hunch is that yes, it will be restricted to App Store apps, so that Apple can approve all iCloud storage use cases in advance, and easily pull the plug on any app that proves to be abusive in the wild. Put another way, my bet is that if your app isn’t signed by Apple, it won’t be able to write to an iCloud container. But no one outside Apple knows yet.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011