Apple’s iCloud: Misunderstood and Underrated


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Apple’s iCloud service won’t formally debut until the Fall of 2011, yet it has attracted many criticisms. We think that Apple’s iCloud actually raises the customer experience bar, yet again. With iCloud, Apple is redefining the experience of mobile offline and online computing by automagically synching and backing up all of your applications, files, and preferences across devices. If you lose your phone or your computer dies, you’ll be able to restore everything to exactly the way it was before. If you take a picture on one device, it will magically appear in your photo library on all your other devices. If you are working on a document or a spreadsheet on your iPad, it will magically appear with your cursor in the same spot on your MacBook. And, if you don’t have connectivity, you can keep on working, using your applications, and enjoying your music, etc. until you’re able to re-synch.

Apple uses its “cloud” service with tight integration into its operating systems to deliver this seamless peripatetic computing experience. Application developers who want their applications to conform to that experience will need to write to a new set of application programming interfaces (APIs). If developers want their applications to behave consistently across other operating system platforms and ecosystems (e.g., Windows, RIM, Android, and so on), they’ll need to do more work in order to provide an equivalent cross-platform seamless experience.

Today, there are a number of applications that work really well across platforms (RIM Blackberry, iPad, Mac, PC, Android, etc.), such as Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader, Evernote for capturing, tagging, and annotating information, and, of course, almost all Web-based apps, like Facebook, Gmail, Google apps, and so on. They all manage to deliver good synchronization across mobile apps and across platforms.

The gauntlet that Apple is throwing down with its seamless online/offline/mobile experience brought to you via iCloud is to provide a single environment that keeps all your applications, data, and preferences synched up. That’s going to be a tough act to follow.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patricia Seybold
With 30 years of experience consulting to customer-centric executives in technology-aggressive businesses across many industries, Patricia Seybold is a visionary thought leader with the unique ability to spot the impact that technology enablement and customer behavior will have on business trends very early. Seybold provides customer-centric executives within Fortune 1 companies with strategic insights, technology guidance, and best practices.


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