By next year, the cloud to most people will be Apple’s iCloud

“You have to hand it to Apple. When the company gets serious about something, it really creates a paradigm shift,” Galen Gruman writes for InfoWorld. “Yesterday, Apple did it again with iCloud, the forthcoming cloud service that will debut this fall with iOS 5 (it’s in partial beta now).”

“The concept is very simple: Have all your devices sync automatically over the air, using the cloud as the intermediary,” Gruman writes. “One account covers as many as 10 devices (including iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Macs, in some cases PCs, and in some cases Apple TVs), and it handles contacts, calendars, email, music, e-books, e-magazines, documents, photos, and even apps. Make a change or purchase on one device, all your devices have it. Have all your key data backed up automatically as well.”

“That simplicity is an Apple hallmark. What Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced at the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) gets rid of the rat’s nest of synchronization and the hodgepodge of cloud services that mobile users contend with today,” Gruman writes. “Don’t be surprised if by 2012 the cloud to most people will be Apple’s iCloud, and the passport to enter that “magical” land will be an iOS device… To IT, iCloud will be a key venue for your productivity users. For developers, it’ll be where the profitable customers reside.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]


  1. By next year 2012 AAPL = $522 🙂

    iCloud at $25/ year is a bargain and will bring in more people.

    AAPL is low now and it is a Buy!!!

      1. You don’t have to go for the service, you know.

        All it does is speed up the process of backing your music to the cloud, and just applies to music you’ve got (from other sources) that also happen to be available from the iTunes music store.

        Instead up downloading the actual music file, they can just log a token pointing to content they already have.

        You didn’t really think they were going to re-render those music files, did you?

  2. Apple Lemming like iCloud, like it a lot. Google bad, iCloud good. Lemming shake head up and down, shifting paradigm hard work. Me like Apples, yummy.

        1. Apple Lemming like talking to other Apple lemmings. We all shake head up and down when Big Steve changes paradigms. Neck soar from all the paradigm changes happening this week. Full-screen view Apple Lemming’s favorit paradigm shifting.

  3. This is yet another example of Apple’s concept being different and better, compared to the “competition.” For Google and Amazon, the “cloud” is the central focus. They want you to store all of your data in the cloud, and they want to profit from the cloud.

    For Apple, iCloud is just a facilitator that makes using Apple’s hardware devices (including Macs) easier and more enjoyable. It is another value-added service that helps to sell more Apple hardware, not the profit center. Because Apple does not need to make a profit from the service, they can “think different” about its design and purpose.

    Look at the implementation. Apple intentionally limits each user’s general storage size to 5GB. That is the opposite of Google and Amazon’s approach; THEY want you to pay for MORE storage space, not intentionally limit the storage space needed. Apple’s approach is to use iCloud to continuously keep the user’s Apple devices in sync and make media files accessible, NOT to store all of the user’s personal data. Primary storage is still on the devices, particularly the Mac (or PC).

    When the hype dies down, iCloud will mostly disappear into the background. It will “just work” to give Apple’s hardware customers superior user experience that is not available anywhere else. On Apple’s center stage will STILL be Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

    1. Really great point. And it will be interesting to see how Google can compete with this. Apple’s user experience by definition will be better (they’re proper apps designed for your devices).

      One thing I’m not clear on, with iCloud are there web app equivalents for each of these apps/services, like there were with MobileMe?

      I think that would be great, although with the iPad or iPhone always on me, web apps are almost not needed at all (maybe just when travelling overseas).

      1. I will be very happy to cut off Google from mining my information and habits. Apple’s iCloud and forthcoming software updates very neatly solve personal organizational problems I had duct-taped together with various Google services. Buhbye!

        1. Same for our little work – network of five computers …..

          Glued and taped solutions together, yea we get the job done but it takes extra time and stuff slips thru the cracks ……

          With Apple’s plan it will be seamless …..

        2. I agree. I can’t wait to stop using Gmail and Google services AND also I can’t wait to stop using FACEBOOK. I hope to heck that someone (Diaspora?) is going to come out with a Facebook KILLER SOON. All my friends are on Facebook so I can’t not use it, but I really want all of us to move to another platform that I would gladly PAY to retain privacy controls. I trust Apple more than I trust Zukerberg. Why is PING not up to the challenge yet???

      2. Google already does to a large degree minus the music portion.

        Contacts, calendar and email have all been synced between my computets and phones since we switched to android and gmail.

        I pop something on my calendar and it shows up on my wifes phone within a couple seconds.

        The only part of icloud i found interesting was the music streaming and match system.

        everything else has largely been available for at least last 2 yeats from google.

        1. Apple’s been doing email and iDisk since iTools (2000), and has done calendar and contacts synching since 2002 with .mac. Over the years, Apple have moved from synching your data to pushing it, but the services have remained.

        2. Sure, but all of those particulars have been available through mobileMe, too. I’m psyched about the additional automatic music, photo, ebook and document syncing, where the emphasis is on allowing seamless platform switching without missing a moment to transfer files. Try that across android.

          1. I dont have a need to sync music but that was the most impressive feature that i saw in icloud.really an impressive feat imho.

            The rest of ive been doing on android for some time now. If i hit docs ive got a view of my docs folder on the cloud and i can hit that same data from my pc and mac.

            Photos same deal picassa or it can sync right to my fb albums.

            Ibooks may have a better integration im not big on ebooks so really cant compare it.

            1. Dude you’re missing the point. Power users like you and I will always find a way to push our devices to their maximum potential. OS X lion, IOS 5, and iCloud allow the average user the same flexibility we have without having to go through the hoops. No longer will users be required to create a document, save it, copy it to dropbox, get their iPads and downloaded from dropbox. Instead, they will put the finishing touches on their document, walk out the door, meet with their clients, turn on their iPad and their document will be there. No fuss. No muss. While dropbox gives us the same result, I know that I will not be recommending that solution to my friends and clients. And frankly, I’m doubtful I’ll be using it for myself either.

          2. MobileMe has not been error-free. I have had ZERO sync problems with Goggle Contacts and Calendar. I can only hope iCloud is on a totally different and 99.999% reliable architecture.

    2. I think Apple can do better than that in the future. Just think that all your media files are in iCloud, than you can edit your hi-res / HD video in your iPad then there’s some service in the iCloud that can actually render it. You can do this for movie quality video, i think. Imagine doing it for 3D rendering, or multimedia authoring where all of the background process are in iCloud, you can work that from iPad. That would be insane.

  4. maybe I will be forced to change my position in a few years but I have no reason to entrust aNyone else with my data even if it is Apple. It is too big a target for hackers and a crash would be a big problem

    1. I used to think like this about cloud computing. Then I had an epiphany/realization:

      Which do you think is greater: the chance of Apple’s data center being hacked, or a burglar, fire, flood, etc. affecting your home and everything inside it?

      I’ll say the latter has a much greater chance of happening.

      1. Some people seem to think it is an “either / or” proposition. I read it as being that you get both iCloud storage and backup, and whatever storage and backup you instill at home, whether thru Time Machine, backup HDs etc. It feels like a more complete solution.

    2. I tend to agree. A good home-based NAS would be a much better solution than Apple’s iCloud. Apple should turn their TimeCapsules into dedicated NAS devices. They’d make a bundle, except for the fact that Apple wouldn’t allow them to have swappable hard drives which I would consider a drawback, though not a dealbreaker. I’d take the risk and void my warranty to open it.

      1. Apple’s iCloud is NOT that type of storage solution. It is NOT a “hard drive in the sky.” It is designed as a facilitator for keeping your Apple computing devices in sync all the time. It is designed to make purchased media files accessible from your Apple computing devices, “on demand.” It is NOT designed as a place to store ALL of your personal data. After all, Apple intentional limits storage size to 5GB, not even the 20GB (or more) for MobileMe’s iDisk (which was an online “hard drive”).

        You’re using your concept of “the cloud,” as defined by other tech companies, and assuming Apple is doing the same thing with iCloud. Nothing could be further from what Apple is actually doing… Once again, Apple went where the competition IS NOT, and where it will be very difficult for them to follow.

  5. I liked Job’s comment yesterday, “Some people think of the cloud as a hard drive in the sky.”

    I paraphrase, but that pretty much sums up the cloud efforts of most big tech companies. Steve is a master of distilling the essentials.

    1. The cloud is for downloading the music you *already* possess onto any of the devices you possess, without having to reconnect to a computer as a kind of hub. Thus, it’s not for streaming music (a la Spotify), which I think is how you’ve interpreted it. Without 3G or wifi, you’ll only be able to access whatever’s already stored on your device.

    2. What happens now Beardedlady? If your outside of some kind of network reach, you have to rely on only the information that is currently stored on your device. But step into a network and you will be able to reach all your data again. Nothing you already aren’t familiar with. If the “iCloud” goes down, all your devices will have been synched before the outage so it’s not like you lost anything. All your devices still have all your data, Any changes you make after the iCloud goes down will have to be synched by cable like you already are used to. No big deal at all! Not life threatening like it would be if you were to rely on the other guys cloud for all your storage. As soon as iClouds comes back online, “bing” you devices are all synced up again like magic. I see this as a great backup strategy. The same files will reside on my iPhone, iPod, iPad, MBP and the iCloud. What more would anyone need?

      1. Okay, I guess the step I wasn’t understanding or was missing is that at some point to start this new service:

        1. Connect to iCloud for initial set up and run iTunes Match.
        2. Upload music not found already stored on Apple’s servers (if any)
        3. Connect and download music to other iDevices.

        If I understand correctly, once this initial set up phase is done. iCloud will keep all your devices synched going forward.

        But at some point, all music will have to be downloaded or synched via cable.

        1. I think at #2, you’re still not understanding this;
          (It IS a little tricky)

          Apple won’t upload any of your music.
          Apple will see a record (tags, or receipts) of all of your music, and everyone’s music, and Apple will already have almost all of that music on their iCloud servers.
          Apple doesn’t need to upload your copy.

          Put another way,
          – Apple sees what music you have on your devices, and makes a note of those titles.
          – Apple has most of the major labels’ music on Apple’s servers.
          – Apple’s servers see your device’s receipts, and plays your music from their servers. But the actual data, music files, never gets transmitted from you to Apple, only the tags/receipts.

          It’s as if Apple can see your entire collection of vinyl albums in a crate beside your stereo.
          You’re away from home, but you want to listen to that Led Zeppelin 4 album. Apple has its own Led Zeppelin 4 album in its own crate in the cloud. Because Apple can see that you already own it, Apple lets you listen to their Led Zeppelin 4 album, through your iOS device.
          But you never shipped your physical Led Zeppelin 4 album to Apple.

          I don’t know if that was a terrible analogy, but please rest assured that no music will have to be synched via cable.

          1. You are right in your explanation, but I think you misunderstood her explanation of #2. Jobs did specifically say if there was any music that iTunes store didn’t have (aka not on their servers) then that would be physically uploaded to be transferred. He anticipated this would be a very small percentage.

  6. Kind of a sep back if you are an iDevice addict like me and my kids. Now only 10 devices instead of unlimited. Wonder if you can still sync unlimited devices to iTunes.

    1. As was stated, if you listened, the cloud download service was available to only to ten devices. The mentioned no changes to current syncing methods.

      iCloud is completely separate from a direct transfer / sync.

  7. Way better than Goople Cloud BS and the application office like apps they provide free. Free so they can add you to the meat grinder for advertising companies to swallow you whole, absorb your essence and use you for their data mining hog machine.

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