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loveapple89776
Jun 7, 2011, 03:18 PM
When Steve Jobs introduced iCloud, the main concept for the service is to "move the digital hub from the mac to the cloud".

Since the introduction of the iPod and later the iPhone, the mac (or pc) has been the hub of our digital lives, storing our documents, mail, contacts, calenders, music, video, photo's and lots more. As the keynote described, until recently you would sync your devices with your mac by cable to transfer the data across all your devices, with the mac being the main keeper of it. And for the appleTV or iPhone you would to have the mac turned on to get access to your content.

iCloud however is to take over as this hub, and store the main copy of your data and automatically sync all your data across devices, which your mac has now been relegated to being, however it seems that though theoretically the way in which computing should move, iCloud won't achieve it. It is too focused on tight app integration, lacks the online storage of much of the content meaning that the mac will stay at the hub of your digital life.

Below, are some of my thoughts on the various aspects of both the iCloud and MobileMe.



Mail, Contacts, Calender, Bookmarks, Reminders
These have been core features of MobileMe, and appear to be similar in iCloud keeping the multiple devices in sync and storing the data in the cloud.


Photos / Gallery
iCloud should be the MobileMe Gallery with the addition of Photo Stream. MobileMe Gallery stores all your albums and videos online in the cloud, and through the gallery.me.com page, and mobile Gallery apps on iPhone and iPad and appleTV allows you to view all the albums from a variety of devices. This is particularily useful when considering the storage limitations of the iPhone in particular where it isn't feasible to store your whole gallery on the device itself, but providing access over the internet to all your photos and home videos.

iCloud, Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 should however provide greater integration with the photos app on iOS linking to your iCloud gallery and allowing you to view your photo's. iPhoto should similarly have greater integration by syncing all the photo's in your event library with iCloud and not requiring specific uploading as required by the current MobileMe iteration. In regards to Photo Stream, it should be maintained as a way to sync the camera roll across devices and allow you to organise them from your mac or iOS device into albums. iPhoto should just act like the photo's app on iOS as another way to view your photo's, but with the more advance editing features that it has.

The backup feature of iCloud will backup your camera roll and video to the cloud. Surely, this will exceed 1000 photo's meaning that the 1000 photo limit on PhotoStream is pointless as they will be storing a lot more photos anyway?

For Steve Jobs saying that they are "moving the digital hub to the cloud", the Photo aspect of iCloud seems like a step back in comparison with MobileMe, as instead of basing your content in the cloud, the mac and iPhoto are going to remain the hub of your photos.


iDisk
This is similar to photo's in that it appears that your mac/pc are still going to be the hub of your digital documents.

Though iCloud has the documents app which allows for iWork documents to be synced across devices, it is limited to only Pages, Keynote and Number files.

On your mac, most people have a hierarchical folder system. As a student, I have folders for each of my classes, and these contain files of many different types, but their organisation is important as it keeps files of the same topic grouped together. With the iCloud documents app, only supporting pages, it is likely that the files will be grouped together by what type they are and not their relevance to each other. Though Apple is trying to remove the folder system from users, it is still the most convenient way to organise your files. It is not appropriate to have Preview to store PDFs and Pages store Pages documents.

MobileMe iDisk has synced your iDisk folders with the cloud keeping a copy of your data online. This is how the "online hub" should function, allowing all files regardless of type to be stored and synced in the cloud. The iPhone has the iDisk app currently which allows you to view many files that are uploaded and allows you to follow your hierarchical folder system.

The iCloud document app just seems to limited for what it should be.


Films / TV Shows
What about your Films and TV Shows that you have stored on your mac. Currently to watch them on an appleTV you need to have the computer powered on and connected to the network, which can be inconvenient. The mac is the hub of your media, and iCloud's lack of anyway to handle this content is going to remain so.

iCloud should also be able to scan your iTunes library for any film and tv shows that you own, and either create a copy in the cloud or reference it to apple's master copy. From there, rather than having to keep your own copy on your mac which can require significant storage capacity, the cloud should store the content and stream it on demand to your mac, iPhone, iPad or AppleTV when required. And also allow the content to be downloaded to a device when required for offline viewing on a temporary basis.

Music
Music should work similarly to the Films and TV Shows above. The master copy kept in the cloud and allowing you to be selective with which tracks you have on what devices. This is implemented to an extent with iCloud, but requires that music be downloaded rather than allowing for any streaming.


Apps, iBooks
These once again should work similary, stored in the cloud and allow you to download to devices when required.


Backup
This feature of the service is a good addition. Many devices won't be backed up regularly because of the hassle involved with connecting to iTunes, but this should allow for painless restoration of your iPhone when required with up to date data.


WebApps
One of the biggest omission's of iCloud is the apparent lack of Web Apps. When abroad, users are often left without internet access on any of their iDevices or mac, and MobileMe has allowed you to login from any browser to get access to the majority of your data. iCloud seems too focused with being tightly integrated with apps on the devices, and assumes that you will always have access to your device and a internet connection.


Find my iPhone
Very useful service that was made free with the iPhone 4 and has been pushed extensively. There has been no mention of it in iCloud, but surely it is too good a feature to get rid of?