Below is my response posted to an article posted on the website Appleinsider.com. I haven't written for a while, but this one really caught my eye. I have a major issue with much of the branded cloud solutions which are just too restrictive and cumbersome. And yes, I include Amazon and Google in this rant, although they are not listed here because in this case, it was just Apple.
The original article is listed here:
You have hit the hammer on the head. Seriously, not having the option to to sync locally is really a major faux pas. The entire iCloud system is completely flawed. It is created for one individual, using numerous idevices. Unfortunately, iMacs are seldom used by individuals - macbook pros yes, but imacs No. The iMac is a Family Computer. And this is where the stuff gets confusing:
1. If you have separate user id's on the one imac, then you have to buy songs/apps more than once. Solution: Use separate apple id's to log into each screen, but one Apple id for all to use with iTunes. That works, but it's cumbersome. And it's hit or miss if the iTunes log in also counts as the ID login for the session that you are in. Confused yet? Essentially, you can sometimes get that you are logged in as the screen login that you logged in with or logged in as the iTunes account holder.
2. Secondly, if you try to use Facetime with this, the computer gets totally confused. You will get messages showing "id A is linked to this imac, id B is linked to this imac....." and so on. In addition you can text to whomever from the computer to someone with an iCloud id, but you may or may not receive a response, because that person may not be sending from an iCloud account. Ugh?
3. Then there's the device issue. The Apple Geniuses will state that Apple id's are for identifying people using their devices and not iTunes. When I spoke with another about the confusion, he stated that this is just for Apple to send things to the right place. Not quite! Apple clearly states on their site that Apple id's control everything - iTunes, app store and essentially all communications with Apple. So if you use one Apple iD for everyone in your family, then everyone in your family will get your text messages, apps and just about everything. If you use separate iD's, then you have to find a way to get the right information through, while not paying for songs or apps twice.
It's still hit or miss, and I proposed a real solution a long time ago. Something that Amazon appears to be implementing, albeit slowly: Create a Master ID. Let users within a family make Sub-ID's but have the Master ID make purchases etc. Attach all purchases to the Master ID. I think that this would solve the problem.
Right now, it's just a confusing mess. iPhoto is another example of this, but that's for another day (ie. Is iPhoto using your ISP or iCloud?). Sorry for the length of this, but it's really gotten to me as well and I consider myself relatively knowledgeable.
This really has become one of the most cumbersome problems that I have seen in a while. It took me almost 2 hours a few months ago to get all of the iPhones, iPod Touches and other devices to act only for their owner and not just become extensions of Me. Imagine a young kid in the middle of class getting a text saying "They're ready for you in the OR now." Or a message showing up on your daughter's phone that says, "Okay, time to call the New Mother as a Courtesy at 7 PM." The initial is a real one from my busy day and the latter one is a Siri reminder. Both were sent to my entire family.
I finally figured out a way to get this under control as I described above, but it really shouldn't have to be this way.
Here again is my take on a solution:
(iTunes ID Major link)
Dad Mum Jimmy Jane Phil
(All have Sub-Accounts and can use their Apple-iD login in iTunes to make purchases. Apple reads all purchases from the sub-accounts (using 2-way authentication) as belonging to the Master Account).
All access to the Master Account can only be done by Mum or Dad and all granting of access to Jimmy, Jane and Phil must be approved by the same. This would make it easy to create Find Friends, access only one account for iTunes purchases and a host of other things.
I haven't written for a long time, but this one got to me, one year later and it's just gotten worse.