Apple today delivered its expected iCloud service – though it wasn’t exactly what one might expect of a cloud service.
With it, Apple elevated every conceivable Apple service and application into the cloud, starting with its iTunes music software. iCloud also incorporates document sharing and synchronization between PCs and iDevices, online storage, a revamp of MobileMe’s cloud e-mail, calendar and contacts platform, multi-device application downloads and instant and automatic photo sharing.
It also “un-linked” the iPhone and iOS 5 from the personal computer, announcing that its mobile operating system will be the first to provision itself completely over the air without the aid of a computer connection.
All of which is interesting, but which also, according to Mobile Dev Pro sister publication Connected Planet…
…seems to [change] the definition of cloud—or at least adds a new twist to the already murky definition of cloud. The way it is using cloud services is vastly different than the way Google and Amazon are using them, and in many cases there are very few cloud components of the new pervasive services it is offering. In fact, in many ways iCloud can be viewed more as synchronization and content management service between Apple devices with a few cloud storage features thrown into the mix.
Apple’s unique view of the cloud stems from the way it views mobile devices, and how it runs its business, says Connected Planet:
[It’s] a perfectly understandable view for Apple given its business model. It makes devices and it has built a huge software and services empire linked to those devices. For Google, the cloud means openness and access from any device. For Apple the cloud is a means to create an even tighter ecosystem of devices and services. The cloud certainly means more access to Apple, too, but primarily access among its devices.