The June 6 announcement of Apple’s new iCloud service, with its ways to stream your music all over the place, centralize e-mail and push that content to your Apple-friendly devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac computer) and at least some of it to your PC-based items, is impressive. It also offers your columnist a chance to look a bit smart, although I’m probably more lucky than prophetic.
Last Thursday, I wrote:
If iCloud merely offers music, that’s nice but not much. If it becomes a kind of cloud-based computing environment, where we could store personal data, photos, work files and what have you, accessing them from mobile phones or tablet computers as well as your nearest Web browser, and do so securely and easily, it gets better still.
If it somehow teams with Apple’s iWork applications for the iPad — for word processing, spreadsheet and presentations — then you’ve got the Davidic smooth stone that could bring down the traditional computing Goliath. Microsoft fans may commence worrying now. [Emphasis added.]
Et voilà! According to Apple’s press announcement, “iCloud Storage seamlessly stores all documents created using iCloud Storage APIs [or, Application Programming Interfaces], and automatically pushes them to all your devices. When you change a document on any device, iCloud automatically pushes the changes to all your devices. Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps already take advantage of iCloud Storage. Users get up to 5GB of free storage for their mail, documents and backup—which is more amazing since the storage for music, apps and books purchased from Apple, and the storage required by Photo Stream doesn’t count towards this 5GB total. Users will be able to buy even more storage, with details announced when iCloud ships this fall.”
Use Pages, Numbers, Keynote and you’re synced. (Makes me wonder if Apple might not launch versions of these programs for Windows-based devices. I’m just sayin’.)
There’s a lot more in the June 6 Apple news, including details of the new iOS operating system for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. This upgrade includes a messaging feature and a newsstand program to make buying newspaper and magazine single copies or subscriptions easier, among other things. The new iOS upgrade is due in the fall, which also gives rise to speculation about an “iPhone 5” launch then.
And, there’s a raft of changes to the Mac OS X operating system, now called Lion. Many of the features will incorporate touch and swiping gestures now found on the iPad and iPhone. The Mail application has been redesigned, Apple says, although I’m betting they still won’t give users the ability to request a “read receipt” for e-mails. Oh, and the next upgrade, available only via the Macintosh App Store online, will cost $29.99, a $100 break from the last round. It will be available in July, Apple said.
Sounds like we’ll have a nice summer and fall to anticipate.