What Third Parties Can Do With iCloud APIs
Here are a few examples of what third parties can do with the iCloud APIs: - Stock analysis: A firm might have a proprietary set of algorithms that are compute-intensive. It builds an iPad app that uses the iCloud APIs to easily send user requests to the server, which, in turn, does the intensive calculations and sends the results back to the local application, giving the appearance to the user that all of the processing was done locally.- Inventory search: A firm has a large inventory stored on servers. It builds an iPhone or iPad app that takes the inventory search request and uses the iCloud APIs to process the request in the cloud and return the result, giving users the impression that the inventory was available locally.- Real-time services: The ability of an app to have an active dialog with the cloud so that up-to-date information is displayed locally (think "ticker tapes"). - Multiperson gaming: While multiperson gaming can be done today, the iCloud APIs and services enable a local app to more easily connect to more people than before. Mobile services using cloud access are going to be the next "big thing" in mobile. First, we had local phone apps prebuilt and installed. Then mobile app stores were created to enable third-party developers to build exciting local enterprise and consumer applications. Hundreds of thousands of these apps have been created. Watch for developers to take iCloud and build cloud-based mobile services into existing applications, as well as develop new mobile services that are specifically designed to provide cloud-based computing and storage access in local iOS devices. Mobile services will keep the local app environment relevant and more useful. There will be a lot of activity in this area during the next year. You can be sure that Google and Microsoft are going down the same path and will provide developers with similar cloud-based service APIs. Before long, we'll have so many cloud-based services that we'll come to expect cloud-based mobile services to be a part of all mobile apps.