iCloud is a bigger deal than the new iPhone
All eyes will be on hardware, but it's the invisible stuff in the background that matters
Computerworld - Apple's big iPhone event later today has naturally generated a retinue of rumors, almost all them focused on hardware. Will Apple announce one new iPhone or two? Will the next-generation device retain the basic iPhone 4 shape and design? What about the prospect for voice-activated assistance software?
This much we know: The new iPhone will run the next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5, which Apple is expected to release any day now in tandem with the new hardware. Developers have been working with iOS 5 since it was unveiled in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, updating their apps and integrating some 200 new features. Most users who update will almost certainly appreciate updated notifications, location-based reminders and Twitter integration.
Cutting the cord
However, the biggest news today won't be the iPhone, or even most features new to iOS 5. It's the arrival of cord-cutting technologies like wireless iTunes syncing, over-the-air system software updates, and most importantly, iCloud, which will allow iPhones (and iPads) to finally stand as independent computing devices.
Put simply, iCloud is a collection of services that will back up your data to Apple's servers automatically. Every picture you shoot, every document you create, every point you score, all your bookmarks and contacts, every song or movie you buy, every ring tone, text messages and even the layout of your home screen get backed up to Apple's servers.
Even better? iCloud scales. If you have other devices, iCloud makes sure those devices receive your data, too, without you having to lift a finger. It's invisible.
We live in an age of the perpetual Internet connection. With Wi-Fi, wired networks and advanced cellular data networks, we live in a time where -- unlike the old dial-up days -- persistent connections are increasingly vital to our daily lives. On devices like the iPhone, Internet access isn't optional -- users have to have at least a minimal data plan. And that ubiquitous connection is what makes the iPhone and iPad so appealing. It's perpetual, always with you wherever you are. Post-PC devices like the iPhone don't just work better because of the Internet; they absolutely need the Internet to function.
Much of the functionality we're accustomed to on our computing devices these days is based on the assumption of a perpetual online connection, with entire industries popping up to offer Internet-based apps, storage and interaction. But those services -- I'm thinking of Facebook, Google Docs, or DropBox -- work differently than iCloud. They require an active approach to being online. You have to install Drop Box, or actually go to Google's sites to use the apps, or log on to FaceBook to post an update. In other words, you must go out of your way to use those services.
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: What's the best smartphone? That's the wrong question.
- Apple has bigger plans than just song ID with Shazam deal
- Automakers show off in-vehicle Wi-Fi, new smartphone interfaces
- Teardown: Galaxy S5 parts cost 21% more than for iPhone 5S
- iPhone keyboard sales halted as injunction takes effect
- First-to-market means diddly when it comes to smartwatches
- Tip of the Hat: An iWatch won't affect Apple's long-term success
- Apple and Samsung spar over $2.2B damages claim
- Wi-Fi problems dog Apple-Samsung trial
- Apple lays out its $2.2B claim against Samsung
- Cloud Computing eGuide In this eGuide, CIO, Computerworld, and InfoWorld offer advice, tips, news, and predictions regarding cloud implementations in the coming year and beyond. Read...
- Increase IT Performance from the Enterprise to the Cloud with WAN Optimization Massive consolidation and data mobility, enabled by virtualization, have radically altered how we build servers, design applications, and deploy storage for the emerging...
- IDC: Eliminate Shortcomings in Your Cloud Architecture with Smarter Storage This white paper demonstrates how IBM Smarter Storage provides customers with an ideal, proven platform for cloud computing. IBM has a differentiated storage...
- Radicati: Cloud Business Email - Market Quadrant 2013 Google was named the top cloud business email provider in a recent report by research firm Radicati. Out of 14 key players, Google...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- Video surveillance for IT: maximum image quality, minimum bandwidth Join us on Thursday, May 8th at 1 p.m. EST when Willem Ryan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Avigilon, will discuss how IT... All Cloud Computing White Papers | Webcasts