Shedding Some Light on iCloud: What We Know So Far
Right now, iCloud is still a mystery, but a few things became clear as the weekend passed. iCloud will be about music, but it won’t be the main attraction. Some predict iCloud will work with iTunes by making traditionally wired events now completely wireless.
John Gruber is a technologist and blogger (with a focus on Apple) who has a solid track-record of rumor confirmation when it comes to up-and-coming Apple announcements. Unsurprisingly, he’s confirmed that cloud-accessible music will come to fruition via iCloud, but Gruber also mentions something else (which he says he can’t confirm as fact, but is plausible).
According to Gruber, iCloud essentially will be be the wireless sync technology that everyone has so desperately wanted on their iDevices. He doesn’t go into great detail, but suggested user essentially would unwrap their iDevices, punch in their Apple credentials, and start accessing their media apps and more.
Here’s why I think this is a big deal for Apple if it’s true. First, it’ll beat the pants of Android. Right now, Google Android allows users to automatically and wirelessly download their apps from the Google Marketplace after entering their Google credentials, but there’s no central repository for users’ music. If Apple integrates wireless syncing for music, apps and other media, that would represent a big departure from the traditional idea of what ‘syncing’ really is. It could also mean the amount of storage users need to have locally available on their device becomes less important. That could translate to cheaper devices, too. (iPhone nano anyone?)
I hesitate to speculate more, because by 1 p.m. Eastern June 6 when the WWDC 2011 keynote kicks off, the world will have a much better idea of how iCloud works and what it means for the rest of the industry. But if iCloud is more than a cloud-based phenomena, and instead a technological leap in device management syncing and wireless transferring of large amounts of data, this technology could have a serious ripple effect across the storage/virtualization/networking industry.