Cloud Integration for iPhone, iPad and the Post-PC Era

At today’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple’s Steve Jobs announced a new set of cloud services, dubbed iCloud, that will integrate with iOS-based devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, and Mac OS X. The new services will bring tight cloud-based data synchronization to Apple’s desktop, laptop and mobile device lineup.

iCloud will allow you to store all of your documents, calendars, emails, photos, and more in the cloud, and will automatically synchronize this data to all of your devices. Additionally, iCloud will make your music available across all your devices.

Backup services will also be incorporated into iCloud. Rather than having to back up to a PC or an external backup, users of iCloud will be able to directly back up their iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches to the cloud. Likewise, device activation and software updates, which previously had to be performed via PC-based tethering, can now be done “over-the-air”.

Jobs famously described the arrival of the iPad as the beginning of the “post-PC era.” Until now, however, iPads, iPhones and other so-called post-PC devices have heavily relied on PC-based syncing for installation, configuration, updates, and media synchronization. With the introduction of iCloud, Apple has helped usher in a truly “post-PC era.”

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the explanation, Jack! You are fast getting this out to us.

  2. Essentially Apple has adopted features that come from dropbox, Blackberry, Android, Google.

  3. I’ll probably sign on — if only for the music features (where rips from your CDs get duplicated free from iTunes, for $25 annually). This improves their Mobile.me cloud, as far as syncing calendar, mail, and address book goes. But what it doesn’t do, so far as I can tell, is store any old documents I choose; essentially they have to have emerged from an iWork app. So Dropbox continues to stay in my life.

    I wonder if Apple lets you encrypt any of this stuff client side.

  4. The lawyers I know tend to be concerned with privacy and confidentiality, especially when it comes to client privilege. This makes the strong endorsement for iOS devices that I continue to hear from many in the Canadian legal community all the more puzzling. How did this happen? Are these devices being used for personal matters only?

    As a professional who is trusted with sensitive information, I’m not going to walk into a client’s office with a mobile device which has been claimed to secure stored data while repeatedly failing to adequately live up to those claims. Following the recent RSA breach, some clients revealed that they were switching products even before RSA officially acknowledged the extent of the compromise. Similarly, Toyota experienced a slump in sales following last year’s recalls. What makes iOS devices so alluring and seemingly immune to their own failures?