On October 12, 2011, Apple launched iCloud along with its new iOS5 operating system. With the growing popularity of cloud apps like Dropbox, Box.net and Google Docs, Apple developed a cloud strategy that might be their greatest innovation to date. iCloud aims to not only be your hard drive in the clouds but to change the entire landscape of computing. Matt Honan of Gizmodo says, “iCloud transforms our machines into little more than a variety of screens we’ll use to peek at data…”
Still, the question remains: What exactly is iCloud? According to Apple, “iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.” If that’s still not clear enough for you, here are a few of the features of iCloud to help you better understand what it is and how it can benefit you.
- It Pushes Content to All Your iOS5 Devices Wirelessly: This makes it easier to access content seamlessly, but more importantly, for Apple, it encourages you to purchase multiple Apple devices for full integration.
- Wireless Synchronization: You no longer have to worry about syncing your devices as all your books, apps, or music are updated on all your devices wirelessly. iCloud allows you to cut the wires to mobile devices altogether.
- Viewing Documents in the Cloud: Allows you to view and edit your documents from any device you have that are running iOS5. They can be connected so that you can have the latest version of your documents regardless of what device you’re currently using.
- Device Specific Usage for Meetings: You can now take only the appropriate device to the meeting you’re attending. For example, with the use of iCloud you can create a document on your Macbook Pro laptop and grab your iPad to present your content at your meeting.
- Data Backup: It not only stores your data it backs it up.
iCloud service is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, but there are still challenges for enterprise use. Here are a few drawbacks to take note of: (1) Accounts are created for individuals not multiple users, (2) Accounts are created with just an email address and password, which presents security concerns and (3) The content moves with the account owner, leaving the company without access if the employee leaves the company.
Despite the aforementioned issues, in the end, iCloud is going to innovate cloud computing.