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.” -
LG on Monday announced the beta release of its own iCloud competitor, dubbed LG Cloud. The service allows users to manage and consume all types of content across Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content,” LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon said. “LG makes the devices that millions of people watch content on so we can set a new yardstick for ease of use by setting up our own cloud service. Tomorrow’s consumers don’t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient.” LG Smart TV or smartphone owners may be eligible to receive 50GB of free LG Cloud storage for six months. The company’s cloud service will be offered in both free and paid versions, with each member allotted 5GB of free storage. Read on for LG’s press release. More →
Samsung’s iCloud competitor, dubbed S-Cloud, may be unveiled at next month’s Galaxy S III announcement in London on May 3rd, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday. The service is similar to Apple’s offering but without any limitations on the type of content users can upload. The service is also expected to have access to popular TV shows, movies and music with free and paid content that will be available across a range of Samsung devices. The amount of storage allotted to users is rumored to be “more than 5GB,” although it isn’t clear if that will be free or is there is an associated charge. Earlier rumors suggested Samsung would delay the service after having trouble developing a suitable infrastructure for the global market. According to Maeil Business, however, the company has partnered with Microsoft to support its S-Cloud service. More →
Apple on Friday announced that its iWork.com service will be discontinued on July 31, 2012. “After July 31, 2012, you can no longer publish new documents to iWork.com from any iWork application on your Mac or iOS device,” the company wrote on its website. “Documents already shared on iWork.com will not be available to you or to those you shared documents with.” With the discontinuation of iWork.com, the Cupertino-based company is pushing users to share documents with its iCloud service instead. Apple is directing users who are interested in saving previously uploaded documents to do so before the service’s closure this summer. More →
Apple has been forced to take its iCloud and MobileMe push email services offline in Germany as a result of a recent ruling in a patent lawsuit filed by Motorola Mobility against the technology giant, German blog Macerkopf reports. Late last year, a German court ruled against Apple in a suit filed by Motorola citing a number of patents covering 3G communications and push email services. A permanent injunction was issued and though sales of Apple’s 3G devices were initially halted earlier this month, the products went back on sale later that day. Now, presumably as a measure to avoid further sales interruptions, Apple has confirmed that it halted push email services tied to its iCloud and earlier MobileMe products.”This ruling only impacts customers in Germany who use a Push setting to get their MobileMe and iCloud email,” an Apple spokesperson told Engadget. “These customers will still receive email to their devices. Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.” More →
Samsung may be looking to launch its own cloud service to compete with Apple’s iCloud. The South Korean manufacturer originally enlisted Samsung SDS to develop the infrastructure behind the company’s new “S-Cloud” service, however it turned out to be unsuitable for the global market, reports ETNews. The company’s Media Solution Center (SMSC) is now reportedly looking to establish an infrastructure by utilizing proven commercial solutions from KT or even Amazon to help build its cloud network. The publication states that the service will more than likely be delayed due to the heavy modifications to its infrastructure. More →