Apple patent application details cloud-based virtual safe deposit box

“With Mac OS X Lion nearing its launch this summer, we just might have gotten a glimpse at either a Time Machine or MobileMe upgrade in one of this week’s patents,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Apple wants to beef up sensitive document security for average consumers and they want to do it in a way that will get consumers used to trusting Apple branded cloud based software and/or services,” Purcher reports. “Even if you don’t have sensitive documents like a Living Will or Home Insurance Policy that you want to protect, everyone wants to protect their investment in iTunes! You’ve invested a lot of money in your music, movies, books and app purchases – and that’s reason enough to want to use this upcoming new feature relating to a virtual safe deposit box.”

Purcher reports, “Apple wants consumers to trust them on this front early on, beginning with a friendly little app called the safe deposit box.”

Read more in the full article, which contains Apple’s patent application illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Johnny Bravo” for the heads up.]


    1. Yeah but you can’t trust these like you can Apple.
      Also, be sure that Apple’s will work more reliably and have better support and features. Apple was late to the Mp3 market and others that it fast took a domInance in.

    2. I have a Dropbox 50 GB account. When I upgraded to the new iPhoto, Dropbox doesn’t handle symlinks, so it doubled all of my pictures. I had to upgrade to the 100 GB account. I put all of my pictures back on my Mac. Dropbox advertises: Online backup, file sync, and sharing made easy. But, their response in the forums is that they are a file syncing service. The second Apple implements a cloud service, I will be an ex-Dropbox user.

    3. There is no such thing as “late to the game”. Only how to play the game better. Apple has had online file storage for 10 years with iTools/.Mac/MobileMe, but Dropbox does it so much better. It’s time that Apple stepped up to the plate and provided a much better service than iDisk currently does.

  1. I like the reference to the garbage company in redmond. Anyways, I’ll welcome an Apple deposit box. Having data sent outside the home is a good idea in case of a fire or whatever. But it depends in a way how they market it. If it’s a part of MobileMe, which I don’t have yet, it means an annual fee. If it’s a part of Time Machine, it might be free or maybe with a small $19.99/yr. price (hopefully). I like the idea though, as I haven’t committed to another product yet. In truth, I really never gave it any thought until I read this.

  2. I’m sure Apple will be moving towards allowing you to access all your docs from any iDevice or Mac. Makes sense – you can do that from Mac to Mac now with MobileMe.

    With iApps being available on iPads the next step is using MM to read and edit files from any of your devices from wherever you are. And also do it in a secure manner.

  3. As a Mac user and developer I appreciate the work that Apple puts into OSX, but this is not something to be patented. There are several companies that have products that do the same thing as others have said including Dropbox and Ubuntu which has an open source product that sounds exactly that Apple wants to burn into Tiger. Unless this new functionality does something whiz bang that we have all missed, Apple needs to go back to the drawing board to come up with something better

    I’m all for competitive products so we all win, but please don’t try to patent things that are already in the market place.

  4. In order for it to be a part of OS X or MobileMe, it has to be written by Apple engineers. You’d have to read the entire patent to see exactly what little differences are being proposed, but they’re there. Apple has the right to develop there own version of a drop box just like they did with creating their own keyboard and mouse for which there are hundreds of designs that came before it. It’s like saying that Burger King should have had the right to serve the Big Whopper because McDonalds made hamburgers before them. Pleeeeaase, what a lame-o argument.

    Apple has the right to improve on their products and add features that are more “Apple-like” and that’s the way it goes. Get over your “the world is unfair” crap. It’s old already.

  5. Maybe its just me, but I find uploading to Dropbox is way slower than uploading the same file to MobileMe. Just a few hours ago I tried uploading a 50MB file to Dropbox. Progress bar fluctuated between 20 mins to an hour to upload to Dropbox servers. Same file on the same internet connection (my home) took 4 mins to upload to MobileMe servers.

  6. I have been on Apple’s servers, iTools, etc., since it was free – over 10 years. I use it to back up a few files, but I just buy enough external hard drives to handle my main backups. I guess this cloud mess will be okay, but so far, I don’t like it so much.

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