Tuesday, 7 June 2011

iCloud, You Cloud

On a day when IDC revised their PC sales figures in Europe down, on the US West Coast, Steve Jobs came off sick leave to unveil Apple's iCloud strategy. It's a sunny day for the industry.
As a dedicated iPad user the one fatal flaw I have been aware of is that the device is entirely dependent on contact with a PC or Mac running iTunes. From a static device, the iPad gets its OS updates, it gets backed up and can be restored (twice in my case after crashes when updating the OS - rule 1: never interrupt a Sync) only when in contact with a host PC or Mac running iTunes.

So will transferring that dependence into The Cloud, the iCloud no less, make the iPad any the better? Yes.

It means that I no longer have to be situated close to a PC or Mac to back up and interact with iTunes, the mother program. I will now be able to do this anywhere thanks to iCloud. And that goes for the iPod and iPhone too. In fact, Apple will automatically update all devices via synchronising from the iCloud. This means that if you add an event in your calendar, all devices will be updated to reflect it. Immediately, if you like. The same will go for documents, contacts and emails.

This is ace. I am a user of the excellent Evernote application, a far better version of MS's OneNote product. Automatically, via The Cloud, it updates my iPad 2, PC and Android phone with changes to every Note I write - immediately, automatically and wherever I am. It is, at last, one of the few programs to really make this possible. Apple now proposes this with all products.

Well you have to remember there is a Mac and a PC world so I would suggest we will not see ALL products reflecting this. But the proliferation of new devices has brought many new developers into play and we are at last getting the kind of innovation we last saw when the PC went open architecture for the first time. It does mean that the rich software companies will gobble up small players as we have seen in the past but there is a hope that we no longer all have to adhere solely to Microsoft's agenda.

And that's good news for us all as they have stifled the stuffing out of the application market on PCs. The world of Mac and Android is where the innovation has been.

The iCloud is a great step forward and what it illustrates is the massive benefit that The Cloud can bring. All devices synchronised, everywhere.

Now isn't that a reason to get excited?

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