News Analysis: Apple will launch it iCloud storage, backup and file synchronization service this fall. On paper it has the kind of features that could persuade users to switch to iCloud from competing cloud services they are already using.
the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 6,
Apple unveiled iCloud
, its Web-based platform that will allow users to
store content in the cloud and synchronize data across their many devices,
including the iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. Best of all, the service is free.
before iCloud launches in the fall, millions around the globe will need to
determine if it's a right fit for them. On one hand, Apple has made iCloud seem
extremely appealing to users. But on the other hand, those same folks know that
there are a host of services on the market that can provide many of the same
from what we have learned about the service and its features, Apple's iCloud
seems like the winner. Though it still hasn't launched and there are some
features missing, it looks, on paper at least, like an ideal choice for many
consumers around the world. Once again, it appears that Apple has created a new
service that not only has the potential to trump all the currently available
alternatives, but could also become another cash cow for the company.
why users should employ Apple's iCloud:
1. It's free
made an exceptionally intelligent move by making iCloud free
. If the
company charged for access to the service, it might have turned many customers
away. But by making iCloud free, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company took out
all the risk that might have otherwise been associated with it. Free is always
good, and it's certainly nice to see that price tag for iCloud. Whether or not
it will always be free is another question.
2. iTunes Match seems like a winner
addition to offering free access to iCloud, Apple announced at the Worldwide
Developers Conference on June 6 that it will be offering a new feature, called
iTunes Match, for $24.99 per year. The service scans a user's library to find
content that wasn't downloaded from the iTunes marketplace. It then
automatically transfers those tracks that are also available in the store to a
256K-bps AAC DRM-free version to enhance sound quality. It's a nice option that
shouldn't be overlooked.
3. Multiplatform support
rumors surrounding iCloud first cropped up, there was speculation that it would
only work with Macs and
. However, Apple said the service will work with Windows
in addition to those platforms. Because of that, a huge portion of the
desktop-OS market won't be kept out of the iCloud fun. Without Windows support,
iCloud simply wouldn't be as attractive a proposition as it is.
4. The apps consideration
users of iOS-based devices, like the iPhone and iPad, know all too well,
getting applications onto multiple products can be a pain. However, with the
help of iCloud, users will be able to download an application on, say, the
iPhone and automatically find that same application on their iPad. It might not
be the biggest feature in iCloud, but such convenience really does matter when
someone determines whether or not they want to use a cloud-based service.