I know that one of the following scenarios, or one like them, has happened to you at some point:
Husband: So yeah, my iPhone…well, let’s just say it doesn’t swim as well as you’d think, given all the other cool things it can do. And before you ask, I already put it in rice. Nada.
Husband: Look on the bright side. The new iPhone 4 just came out. *nudge, nudge.
Or maybe this.
Me: The mouse keeps freezing on my laptop. I already restarted it twice, but it won’t budge.
Computer tech: Hmm…Hope you have a warranty. New hard drives are expensive to install.
I recently lost over 600 photos and hundreds of songs which were saved to my laptop before the hard drive crashed and burned. And while this did teach me the important lesson of having an external hard drive on hand, I can’t help but think there has to be a better way. And, hopefully, come this fall, there will be. iCloud.
iCloud is Apple’s solution to our crazy, busy, multi-device lives. Basically it works like this:
- I take a picture of myself and a friend on my iPhone
- Using iCloud’s technology, the photo is instantly “pushed” to my laptop, PC, iPad, or iTouch so that I have it on all my devices, all the time.
But it’s much more than just photos. Once iCloud launches, you will have access to all the following, all the time, no matter which device it originated from, or which device you’re currently using:
All the music you’ve purchased from iTunes will automatically float down and appear on all your devices, no matter which it was purchased from originally. What’s more, for the appreciatively low cost of $24.99 per year, you can also have iTunes Match, which allows you to share music between your devices which has been ripped from CDs or downloaded from sources other than iTunes. If your ripped songs are available to be “matched” in the iTunes library, you can listen to them all the time, anywhere, without having to purchase each song again.
Whether your pictures are taken with your iPhone, or with a digital camera which you then upload to your PC or Mac, iCloud will save your most recent 1000 photos to a Photo Stream. You then have 30 days to connect any of your devices to Wi-Fi and save the ones you love to your camera roll or album of your choosing.
The same principle applies to your iTune apps and iBooks. iCloud will even preserve your bookmarks, highlights and notes, and will pick up right where you left off reading on your iPad at home when your get to your PC at the office. Additionally, you can view and edit your important documents from any device.
It always pains me when I need to send an email from my iPhone, but realize that the contact I need is on my laptop at home. No more. These, too, will be snuggled cozily inside all your devices, along with your Calendar and other email preferences.
Are you starting to notice a trend?
If Apple can manage to deliver what it has promised in iCloud, there will be no more waiting seemingly forever while your iPhone syncs to your laptop or iPad. No more mourning the loss of that fantastic picture you snapped of your mom dancing at Thanksgiving when your iPhone fancies a swim in the toilet.
We’ve grown accustomed to Apple’s simple and beautifully designed products and their superior software. By offering seamless collaboration between all its devices, iCloud will hopefully perpetuate this reputation and provide its users with an easy and fun way to stay connected anywhere.