MobileMe iDisk vs. Dropbox

Over the course of the last month, I started moving some of my data into the cloud. I chose to move my some of my personal data to my iDisk, and some of my work data to Dropbox. While both of these services work, there are some differences.
First off, let me say that I configured iDisk so that a local copy is kept on my MacBook. You don’t have to configure iDisk this way, but it seems like the most convenient option to me. This allows you to have access to our iDisk when you are not online, and then sync changes the next time you have a connection.
This decision was at least partly influenced by my desire to use my iPad as my main portable computer. That being the case, keep in mind that if you make this move with the intention to use / share documents via iWork, then you are stuck using idiskas the iPad iWork apps don’t (yet?) support Dropbox natively.
The hardest part of this process was the first upload to the iDisk. I took the time to organize some of my folders during the move. Some of these changes caused the iDisk sync to fails, and I spent a bit of time double checking and removing duplicates. In my opinion the problem was that I was moving thousands of files, but this should not have been an issue. I may go back and see if this would have been less of an issue with the local copy turned off.
Dropbox on the other hand, just worked. My only annoyance is that the Dropbox space is segregated to its own folder. Other than that, no complaints. If you need or want to use Dropbox to store iWork documents, you are not completely out of luck. You will have to use the Dropbox app to open the documents., and then you can use send to dropbox to save your files from iWork via email. UPDATE: I’ve just found dropdav which allows you to connect to Dropbox via WebDav which is a lot easier in my opinion. Using dropdav you can copy files to and from the iPad.
To be honest, as much as I want to like iDisk, I could not help but to think that the only thing that could make iDisk better is if it worked just like Dropbox.

One thought on “MobileMe iDisk vs. Dropbox

  1. Travis says:

    Great article…been dealing with the same thing.
    Check out symlinks (there are a few youtube videos) – they will allow you to sync folders/files outside the dropbox folder.
    Also a great app called MacDropAny over on the dropbox forums for it. It is a great app that does all the symlinking for you.
    Good luck!

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