Moving to iCloud...opinions?

  • Peter Easdown

    Peter Easdown - 2013-02-08

    As the only person actively developing iAlertU these days (and even that's not as active as it used to be), I'm considering moving it to the Mac App Store because I want to add iCloud integration.

    The reason for iCloud is that it will allow iAlertU to maintain a document in the cloud that will contain important information like where the macbook is, ip address, most recent photos, etc.

    This information would also then be available via the iPhone app uAlertMe.  It would also allow you, if you have uAlertMe on your iphone, to set a flag in the iCloud document that tells the mac that it has been stolen.  This would be neat for those times when the macbook is off when it's stolen.  iAlertU could then, even if it's not armed, see the flag in the iCloud document, and then start updating you on where the macbook is, grab new photo's, etc.

    What I've found over the past year or so with uAlertMe is that if your macbook is on the other side of a firewall, people have trouble getting the two apps to communicate (it's basically impossible without a lot of effort) because the iPhone app simply can't find the macbook on the network.  By adding more information in the iCloud document, it would allow the two to communicate via a "proxy" of sorts, bypassing the firewalls of the thief (or cafe hotspot).

    Before I go down this road (because involves me spending money on a Mac developer license) I wanted to get some opinions from the community.  Do you hate the idea?  Do you love it?  Do you have a suggestion?

    If it does go to the Mac app store, I would probably make it paid at a minimal price to cover my costs.  The current, non-icloud version would remain here at sourceforge though for those people that 1. don't want to pay, and 2. don't want the new features.

  • Harold H

    Harold H - 2013-02-13

    That sounds like a logical thing to do. Using iCloud in order to store configuration details related to iAlertU enables the user to keep track of where his Mac is, who's behind it and other useful functions that are now depending on the connectivity of the Mac and the iPhone. The asynchronous nature of the iCloud model, will make the whole system more robust.
    Note however that it will split your user base between people who are and who are not willing to pay. And also  between those with Mountain Lion or those with Lion or earlier; Mountain Lion has much better iCloud support.
    My 2 cents.

  • Peter Easdown

    Peter Easdown - 2013-02-13

    Thanks @haroldhors for your 2 cents.

    Yes I know it will divide the user base a bit; that's why I posted the query.  I've been meaning to do this for a while now, but other committments with my other iDevice apps have got in the way.  I see this move as a next-logical step as well.  There's really very little I can do to improve the disconnect between the owner and the Mac when all sorts of barriers can be in the way.  iCloud, Google Data, Dropbox, etc all offer a layer in the middle that I can use to connect things whilst getting around the barriers.

    I'm inclined to use iCloud as it seems to be fairly simple to do, and is a natural fit for Apple devices.

    Thanks again for your input.



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