These 6 Apps Offer iCloud Features, Plus A Lot More

quickoffice ipad

Photo: Quickoffice

iCloud is supposed to make it easy to back up photos, contacts, email, reminders, and app data.Most of the time, it works, but we’re often left wanting more features and customisation. Here are our favourite iCloud alternatives.

Use Spotify instead of iTunes automatic downloads

Use a music service like Spotify, Rdio, or MOG to save music for offline listening and sync over Wi-Fi.

Any time I add a song to the 'Online Music (iPhone)' playlist on Spotify for Mac, the song downloads to my phone automatically the next time I open Spotify for iPhone.

It's a seamless experience, and works like iTunes automatic downloads through iCloud, except you can stream music too!

Use SugarSync instead of Photo Stream

Photo Stream is great if you want to automatically upload each picture you take, but it's not customisable in any way, shape, or form. You can't even delete photos.

SugarSync's iPhone app has a great Camera button that lets you instantly upload photos to your Mobile Photos folder, which is accessible from any computer or mobile device.

In fact, we've found this method to be the quickest for getting photos onto our computer when we do screenshot tours of apps for iPhone.

iCloud syncs 'Documents and Data' from apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote across all of your Apple devices.

If you use QuickOffice, you can create and edit documents, save them to Dropbox or Box.net, and then view them on all of your devices (including non-Apple devices!).

Lookout Mobile Security can also find your iPhone if you're on the go.

iCloud's Find My iPhone feature is great, and we love the Find My iPhone app in case a friend loses their iPhone while you're away from a computer.

But what if your friends are all Droids? If you download Lookout Mobile Security, you can find your iPhone from any other iPhone OR Android.

Use Google Sync instead of iCloud's contact/calendar/mail syncing

Google Sync is our favourite way to sync emails, contacts, and calendars to our iPhone.

iCloud works fine for these things, but we've found Google's online interface for Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar to be much more user-friendly.

In iCloud, for example, you can't subscribe to shared calendars. In Google Calendar, it's simple. Plus, Google Sync gives you Push delivery of emails and updates.

Reminders is a great app, but syncing with iCal is annoying.

Reminders is a great iCloud-enabled app, but cloud syncing to iCal isn't the best experience.

Handling reminders on your desktop through iCal is messy, and doesn't provide you with many features.

Wunderlist is an iPhone app that syncs reminders and to-do's to the Mac version of the app. It looks great, and works well too.

Another good option is teaching Siri to update Remember The Milk reminders for you.

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