Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WWDC's Thrilling Trilogy Ends With iCloud

Our first two reports on the WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Fransisco focused on specific operating system updates for the Mac and the mobile. The final big announcement is the one ring that is designed to bind them all together: and its name was iCloud.Regardless of where the iCloud stands today, the ultimate goal is to make Apple's cloud computing service the center of the user's electronic network, with individual devices (Mac, MacBook. iPadiPhone) simply becoming the way you happen to be hooking into the cloud at any given moment.
Replacing the less-comprehensive and far more expensive (i.e., $99/ year) MobileMe, iCloud offers a free 5Gb of storage to each user, everything from MobileMe's calendar and mail-related stuff to backups, photos, books, music, and many types of app documents. Technically, everything should be synced completely and nearly instantly -- that photo you just snapped with your iPhone's camera (thanks to the improved iOS 5 update, which of course you don't have just yet) is already available for editing on your Mac, at which point you can use your iPad to Tweet it.
The iTunes implementation has been covered at length elsewhere, but essentially breaks down into a free portion and a "Match" portion. The free portion allows you to download all of your iTunes purchases (previous or new) to any of your devices -- already an improvement. But if you decide you want to shell out $25 per year, more options become available.
Match allows users to catalog their entire existing library (across any devices) and gain that same download access to any of 18 million-plus high-quality-format songs in the current iTunes library -- whether you got them from Apple, from other online vendors, from your own CDs, or from methods best not discussed openly. And even if Match doesn't recognize something in your library, you can still upload it (something you couldn't do with previous iterations of iTunes) and access all of your music library, from any of your devices).

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found