Cloud Computing: Apple`s iCloud Offers Amazon, Google Competition

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-06-07 Print this article Print


Apples iCloud will ship alongside iOS 5 sometime this fall. With the iCloud service in place, music downloaded onto any one device will also appear on the other devices in the users ecosystem, including iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac and PC.??í
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his executives whipped the curtain back from the long-rumored iCloud during the June 6 kickoff of the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The free service will sync user content and push it to various devices via the cloud. It is integrated with apps, ensuring automatic updates, and it will keep folders automatically updated. In Apple's new world, contacts, calendar and mail are now cloud-centric features, with new messages and updates pushed to associated devices. In addition to productivity features such as email, iCloud will also serve as an online repository/syncing tool for users' documents, photos and music. Now, a song downloaded to your iPad will also appear on your Mac, iPod Touch and other associated devices—including PCs. With this new initiative, Apple is essentially throwing down the gauntlet to Google and, both of which have been building out their cloud offerings for consumers. Amazon's Cloud Drive lets users store all manner of documents and music within the cloud. Meanwhile, Google has expanded its cloud offerings beyond productivity to music, courtesy of the recently released Music Beta. Apple can only hope its own iCloud offering lets it wrest some mind-share back from those cloud-centric competitors—and allow it to further advance its vision of a "post-PC world, in which mobile devices such as the iPhone take precedence in users' lives over the traditional PC.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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