Got backup? You’d better hope you do because, well, s#!% happens. And when it happens to your Mac you’ll wish you had a backup better than Time Machine. Yes, Apple’s very own Mac backup system is better than nothing and that makes it next to nothing.
If you want a better backup then you need to do it yourself because Apple won’t give Mac users what iPhone and iPad users already have.
What makes iCloud a better backup?
The iOS App Store. Mac users have plenty of very good backup options. Cloning a Mac using SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner or ChronoSync are among my favorites. None of them quite compare to the ease of use iPhone and iPad users have with iCloud.
The way iCloud works is simple. All your basic iPhone or iPad settings are stored in iCloud. That means Calendar, Reminders, Contacts, Notes, Apple Music and playlists, Safari bookmarks and keychain usernames and passwords.
Like Prego, it’s all in there, so when an iPhone gets lost or an iPad gets crushed by a moving car, all you need is your Apple ID and a new device can be updated within an hour or so. Well, at least updated to the last iCloud backup.
The Mac also uses iCloud for backup– Documents, Desktop Folder, Photos. And, the standard iCloud items including Keychain, Safari bookmarks, Calendar, Reminders, et al. What about apps?
Those can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. One. By. One. Not automagically like iPhone and iPad users. What about third party non-Mac App Store apps?
No backup for you.
Personally, I prefer the external clone. If your Mac gets fried or stolen, that external disk drive can use almost any Mac and you’re back up and running. Even a new Mac can go from zero to ready with a reverse clone.
What Mac users really need is exactly what iPhone and iPad users get with iCloud.
An automatic backup, and a single click restore option.
The problem with an all iCloud solution is those pesky third party apps that cannot be downloaded from the Mac App Store. Those remain manual downloads and installs.
Time Machine is a next to nothing backup system. There’s nothing. Then there’s Time Machine; which is good for finding recently deleted files, but takes forever to restore from a backup.
Since an external disk drive is a requirement for Time Machine and disk clones, maybe Apple can improve Time Machine or push out an iCloud option in the future. For now you’ll need better than next to nothing.