Aug 13, 2012 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: iCloud, iOS Applications, Mac Applications, Products, Review

OS X Mountain Lion: Notes and Reminders

In reviewing OS X Mountain Lion, I've come across two apps that I've become enamored with: Notes & Reminders. These apps were ported from the iOS to OS X. But what makes them powerful is their syncing ability through iCloud. This means if I were in a meeting I could quickly use my iPhone to write myself a reminder or to jot a note about a good idea and when I get back to my desk, there they are on my MacBook Air. However there's a problem with this "magic" called iCloud.

The issue is that iCloud is the ONLY way to do this syncing. I'm a bit of a privacy buff, and whenever the I hear "Cloud" or "iCloud" mentioned, my mind immediately interprets those words as, "someone else's servers". So for business ideas and information (as well as personal) I prefer keeping this information inside my organization. Z001 on Apple's discussion forum may have said it best, "What I am against is to have my information (that is for me, to be used on my physical devices) stored on someone else's server, with ownership T&Cs hidden behind an 85 page EULA only decipherable by lawyers."

I understand for consumers this may be their only option. It would be silly for Apple to expect consumers setting up a personal server to be able to sync Notes and Reminders. However for businesses that already have OS X Servers running, we can sync Mail, Contacts and Calendars. Why can't we just continue with Notes & Reminders?

This is where Apple really missed a huge opportunity, by not augmenting OS X Mountain Lion server to have the ability to sync these two new apps. I understand Apple wants to push everyone to iCloud, but for businesses it is better to give them the option to set up their own, private iCloud as it were. Think of the problems if you worked at company that competed with Apple, but not necessarily in the operating system space. If you had an iPhone and a Mac, I'm sure your employer would not want you to post notes and reminders about business related activities to Apple's iCloud. Even if you don't compete with Apple, I can't see any company being comfortable with their employees using this or any other 3rd party service. It is an information leak bigger than the gash along the Titanic.

Apple needs to turn the rudder a bit back to the corporate world and see the huge opportunities it misses when it doesn't think "business" as well as "consumer". Yes there are more dollars in the consumer market but why only have one revenue stream, why not have two? 

So listen up Apple and take my advice. Give OS X Mountain Lion Server the ability to sync Notes & Reminders, just like you already do for Mail, Contacts and Calendar. Business executives will appreciate the privacy factor and your server software becomes significantly more powerful.

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  1. Stefan ~ Aug. 17, 2012 @ 3:03 am

    Thanks for this article. I completely agree with you and support this feature request. #
  2. Vernon Paddock ~ Oct. 7, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    The inability to privately sync notes by a direct iPhone or iPad to mac method is a major step backwards.I do not want all of my notes in the iCloud. I do not have a personal server. #
  3. Nicolas Guilbert ~ Oct. 21, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

    I am a photographer traveling often for days in remote areas without internet connection. I write notes on my iPhone and on my Laptop. Now i cant sync them anymore via USB cable, this feature should be kept. I can't se a reason for removing it. #
  4. Russell Fowler ~ Mar. 2, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    Just spent time with the Ice Road Trucking outfit and took great photos and made great notes in the wilderness nd now I can't move them from the iPad (decent for note-taking in a bouncing truck) to my laptop with a IUSB cable to share with the world. This seems madness. Won't be moving my company to Apple. In fact I think I'll send this iPad back - far too limited. #
  5. Russell Barton ~ May. 11, 2013 @ 6:45 am

    Snow leopard server did sync notes & it worked well. I have seen on the web people who got notes to work on Mountain Lion Server however, I am not one of them & I almost lost all of my notes when we upgraded our server. I agree that server should do everything that iCloud does & more. This way it would convince more people to buy there server. #
  6. Rupert ~ Jul. 18, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    To the sync I use Beesy. This app offers interesting sync as Reminders with Yahoo tasks, Outlook .. this also allows sync with iPhone and laptop, which can be very handy. #

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