Sunday, May 15, 2011

What is Apple's Icloud going to look like?

     2011 is shaping up to be the year where cloud computing, storage and sharing really take off. While cloud storage has been around for a while now with services like Drop Box, it has really started to gather momentum recently with the introduction of Google's Chrome OS Music Beta and  movie rental, in addition to services like Amazon's Cloud Drive. 

    Apple has been working on something big and will likely announce it at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2011). It is rumoured to be called Icloud or Icloud Castle and will likely be a cloud service to replace ( or complement) MobileMe and one which will be designed to compete with those offered by competitors. The fact that Amazon has stopped selling Apple's Mobile Me is a hint that Apple will be phasing it out and replacing it with something completely new. 

     My prediction is that it will include music sharing from Itunes in the cloud (and perhaps the ability to buy new music), the ability to stream and rent movies as well as the ability to upload and sync all your other content across all your Apple devices including the Mac computer, Iphone and Ipad.  In this way it will combine the services of DropBox with the newly announced services by Google and Amazon. 

     These updates will likely coincide with Apple's new Mac OS X Lion  and Iphone 5. I would also really like to see Apple move towards cloud computing similar to Google Docs for its Iworks applications. It would be great if you could access and edit all of your Apple documents from the cloud. Google Docs in primitive in comparison to Apple's Iworks and if Apple made it possible to use these in the cloud, they would certainly remain a step ahead. 

    We'll have to wait and see if my predictions unfold but my guess is that many of them will because Apple will need to do so in order to stay competitive with companies like Google and Amazon.