Apple still hasn’t responded publicly to reports that hackers have breached Apple’s iCloud system and hacked it in order to unlock stolen iPhones. While that doesn’t bode well, the company did at least respond to a more recent series of reports of another iCloud breach that allowed hackers to digitally hijack iPhones and hold them hostage for a ransom. More →
A Dutch team of hackers that calls itself “Doulci” claims to be the first group ever to hack Apple’s iCloud system. According to a report from Dutch news organization De Telegraaf, the hackers purchase stolen phones that have been locked for between $50 and $150 each. They then use a security vulnerability in order to access Apple’s iCloud system and unlock the phones, which are then sold for a large profit.
Although “Apple is doomed” stories are overblown and ridiculous, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where Apple has significantly fallen behind the competition. One of these areas is in the realm of online services, where Apple has failed to develop anything close in scope or quality to Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google’s Google Maps. More →
Apple is working on its own content delivery network (CDN), a move which could improve iCloud’s performance. According to a report from Dan Rayburn at StreamingMediaBlog.com, Apple has made key hires in the industry and is currently working to build its own CDN. Apple has traditionally relied on third-party CDNs, such as Akamai or Level 3. More →
It looks like Steve Ballmer wasn’t the only famous tech CEO who underestimated Dropbox’s staying power. ITBusiness.ca reports that Dropbox CEO Drew Houston this week recounted how late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs tried to buy out his company a few years ago and then vowed to kill off Dropbox when Houston refused to sell it to him. Jobs then took his best shot at Dropbox when he unveiled iCloud back in 2011 as Apple’s own cloud storage service that was deeply integrated with its popular iTunes software. More →
As we’ve seen multiple times from MobileMe to iOS Maps, online services are Apple’s (AAPL) most glaring weakness. And now it seems that we can add iCloud to the list of Apple’s online service follies, because many third-party developers are hopping mad at what they describe as Apple’s failure to make iCloud seamlessly integrate and sync up with third-party application data. In a lengthy and detailed piece over at The Verge, Ellis Hamburger talks with several disgruntled developers who say, among other things, that “iCloud hasn’t worked out for us,” that “it just doesn’t work,” that it creates “issues that take hours to resolve and… can permanently corrupt your account,” and that it’s “a developer’s worst nightmare… it’s frustrating, maddening, and costs hundreds of support hours.” More →
Apple (AAPL) may not have the best reputation for online services but that hasn’t stopped its iCloud online storage service from becoming the most-used cloud service in the United States. A new report from Strategy Analytics shows that 27% American web users user iCloud, giving it a lead of 10 percentage points over runner-up Dropbox, which is used by 17% of American web users. What makes Dropbox’s share remarkable is that, as Strategy Analytics notes, it “has no associated content ecosystem,” which should seemingly put it at a disadvantage compared to iCloud, Amazon’s (AMZN) Cloud Drive and Google (GOOG) Play. So the fact that Dropbox ranks only behind Apple for the title of America’s most-used cloud service is impressive, especially for a company that Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer recently dismissed as a “little startup.” Strategy Analytics’ full press release is posted below. More →
In preparation for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, Apple (AAPL) has updated its iCloud website. New Web apps in iCloud include Notes and Reminders, but that’s not all: To bring the iCloud experience ever closer to that of iOS, there is now a notifications bar that pops up when users receive new emails, events, reminders and so on, as well as iOS-style badges that update in real-time. As it stands, users will need to have the iCloud website open in a window or tab in order to get real-time notifications, but the same can be said for any other cloud-based service that can be viewed in a browser. As Apple adds more Web apps to iCloud, the service is slowly gaining appeal.
Not to be overlooked in the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 was Apple’s (AAPL) revamping of its classic iTunes music software to feature full integration with its iCloud data storage service. Among other things, the new iTunes has added a “play next” feature that lets users queue up any song as next on their playlist without dragging and dropping, as well as a revamped mini-player that now comes equipped with built-in search functionality to make it less intrusive than previous versions. The new iTunes will be available for download in October.
During an on-stage discussion with Apple (AAPL) critic Mike Daisey, the Cupertino-based company’s co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed major concerns about the future of computing and the shift to the cloud, Agence France-Presse reported. “I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years,” Wozniak said, adding that “with the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away” through the terms of service all cloud computing users must agree to. More →
Apple is reportedly preparing an upgrade to its iCloud service that includes new photo-sharing features, according The Wall Street Journal. The publication cites multiple anonymous sources who claim the Cupertino-based company will announce the new features at its Worldwide Developer Conference beginning on June 11th. Users can currently store and sync photos using iCloud, however the upgrades will allow users to share and comment on each other’s photos as well. The iPhone-maker is also said to be working on a new feature that will allow iCloud users to sync their personal videos to the cloud, and the update will reportedly also let users access “Notes” and “Reminders” through the iCloud web portal. Apple has not refreshed iCloud since it launched last October, and the service is currently home to more than 125 million users. More →
Apple’s iCloud service allows users to access their Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My Phone and iWork apps through the Web. The Cupertino-based company may be planning to add more functionality to its cloud service suite, however. As spotted by Cult of Mac, Apple’s iCloud beta site features two apps that are currently unavailable to standard iCloud users. The beta website revealed Apple’s plans to allow its Notes and Reminders iOS apps to sync to the web-based service. Earlier reports suggested Apple is working to add banner notifications to iCloud.com as well. More →
Apple’s MobileMe service will shut its doors forever on June 30th, 2012, and the Cupertino-based company is encouraging existing users to migrate to its iCloud service instead. To make the transition easier, MobileMe subscribers will be offered 20GB of free iCloud storage until September 30th. Apple plans to also offer MobileMe customers who purchased additional storage 50GB of extra iCloud space until September as well. “MobileMe members with 20GB of purchased storage receive a complimentary iCloud storage upgrade of 20GB, and accounts with additional purchased storage (40GB to 60GB) receive a complimentary upgrade of 50GB after moving to iCloud,” Apple posted on its website. “These free upgrades are good through September 30th, 2012. After that date, you can continue the upgrade at the regular price or let it expire and use the free 5GB plan.” -