With the release of the iPhone 4S, Apple is also unleashing a powerful new storage service called iCloud. The function of iCloud is to replace the MobileMe service, and add quite a few extra functions. Since Apple announced there is no imminent iPhone 5, there has been general concern that the iPhone 4S won’t live up to the hype. But with iCloud, Siri, and other new capabilities, there’s little doubt that even iPhone 4 owners will be drooling to make the upgrade.
What is the iCloud?
So what does iCloud do, exactly? According to Apple’s website: “iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Automatic, effortless, and seamless – it just works.” Sounds great, generally speaking. But there’s a lot more specific functions that iCloud offers if you dig deep enough to look at the specifics.
iCloud, Images, and Documents – Take a picture with your iPhone, and your image is automatically uploaded to your other devices, such as a Mac or PC. Conversely, if you upload digital camera photos to your Mac, your images will be show up on other devices in the cloud. Similarly, documents created on any iOS device will appear on any other, perfectly updated ? so you can continue working on the latest edition of your document without worrying about multiple copies, synchronizing, merging files, or making backups.
iCloud and iTunes – Ever dreamed of being able to buy an album or video on iTunes and have it pushed to all your devices, without syncing? iCloud makes it happen. In addition, for an extra $25 per year, you can have all your music and video stored in the cloud – even imported CDs and other files that you didn’t actually purchase from Apple.
iCloud and Apps – It should be obvious by now ? download an app on one iOS device and it downloads to all others simultaneously.
iCloud and eBooks – Not only are downloaded eBooks sent to all device, the cloud never forgets which page you’re on. No guessing, no flipping through pages. Just pick up where you left off, on any device.
Calendar, Notes, Contacts, etc. – All automatically updated across devices. Additions, deletions, and changes are made everywhere.
Other new features: Find My Friends and Find My Phone. With the former, your position is updating to your friends and family so they don’t lose track of you. It may sound eerie, but think of what this means for parents and teenagers. The latter, as the name would imply, will help you find your lost or stolen iphone. Assuming it’s not shut off or the battery hasn’t died, you can sound an alert from a misplaced phone, or send messages to a potential thief who may have picked it up somewhere randomly.
Basically, with iCloud you never have to back up anything. iCloud saves and updates everything instantaneously. You will never lose anything. You will never waste memory on multiple files. It’s perfectly streamlined and efficient. Simply put, it’s how computing should be.