Impressions of Apple iCloud Services

I have been using Apple’s iCloud services since iOS 5.o BETA has been released.  There was a certain scepticism about whether or not the promise of “it would just work” would really be the case or not when I first heard this claim at the Developer’s Conference.

Well… it does just work!  The integration of the services to iOS devices is seamless and transparent.  When I say devices, I am also including my Mac Book Pro running OS X Lion.  Apple has truly delegated the PC to that of device status and have also lived up to their commitment to bring an untethered world forward.

iMessage

Apple has brought forward a new cloud based service that eliminates any competitive advantage that Research in Motion thought they had.  iMessage works seamlessly and automatically recognizes other iMessage capable users.  You do not have to register for the service and nor do you have to add people to your BBM application.  iMessage simply works.  Begin sending a message using the application and iMessage automatically determines whether the recipient is an iMessage capable user and if so, the message is sent securely using industry standard encryption.  The service provides feedback to the user indicating whether the message has been delivered, read and you also see indication of the recipients responding to your message.  If the recipient is not iMessage capable, then the message automatically defaults to SMS.

Backup to iCloud

Backups happen automatically as long as the device has access to your WiFi network and is plugged into a power source.  Of course you can always initiate a backup on your own by going to the Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup -> Back Up Now option.  iCloud backup keeps a rolling history, similar to Time Machine and performs incremental backups once a full backup has been completed.

Photo Stream

This is one of the coolest features.  Take a picture on any of your devices and it is automatically copied to iCloud and shared with all your other devices, including your PC.  I can see that this service could really become popular and may even get social networking influences providing you the ability to automatically share photos with your friends.

Documents & Data

This is a new option as of iOS 5.0 BETA 4.  While you have the option to enable or disable the service, I have not run into a program that is able to utilize iCloud yet for the storage and retrieval of documents.  This support is supposed to be incorporated into Pages, Numbers and Keynote with the API being publicly released to permit other applications to also exploit this capability.

Apple has a winner with iCloud services.  They truly understand how people want to work with technology and make it seamless and easy.  This is a major piece of the Apple ecosystem that will continue to drive the company forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.