MacStories Interviews: John Siracusa

FV: Document syncing is indeed another subject I wanted to touch upon. You’ve written (and talked) about how you use Dropbox to manage files, but you obviously covered the new iCloud document storage in your Mountain Lion review. You mentioned how “segregating” document storage by application won’t likely surprise users accustomed to the iOS model. More than a year after the launch of iCloud on iOS, do you believe a unification of document storage is something Apple should consider for iOS 7? Where would you draw the line between consistency and frustration caused by having documents separated by app, only “connected” by an “Open In” menu?

JS: I’m not sure the problem can be solved by simply improving communication between silos, but if Apple doesn’t do something, Dropbox will continue to eat its document-syncing lunch. It would be nice if the model Apple came up with for iCloud document management solved most people’s problems, but it doesn’t.

Dropbox is obviously tailored to people who already understand files and folders. It’s tempting to view it as a “nerd solution,” with Apple on the side of the novice users. Philosophically, I think that’s true. But practically speaking, even expert users often find themselves stumped by iCloud document sharing across iOS and OS X. Unfortunately for Apple, Share Happens™ for experts and novices alike. And when it does, iCloud is nobody’s friend.


Precisely! And you can add to that exact argument, Versions and the iCloud as default save location in Lion and Mountain Lion.

Something that was meant to be for a “virgin” user, that never actually existed, and for whom there will always be moments where his computing needs and workflow increases; and then, Apple’s current approach won’t just work and it will be an additional challenge for him. An useless additional challenge.

I recall the Oracle from “The Matrix” movies, and for anyone that perpetually tries to change this well established analogies and workflows, first think if the current model is so broken as you think; second, some day someone might come and devise a brilliant new system, but you’re not that someone.

If you saw the Matrix movies, you know Neo was actually the One. The purpose of the Oracle was to provide an additional mental barrier for Neo, if he was in deed the real One, he would overcome it just by being sure of himself. The same that thing should make most companies think and reflect if they need to drastically change the workflow of their clients (without any option!!) for something that, although not perfect, has been working really well the last decades. And on a basis that every schools in most countries teach students on to work on it!

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