It’s Tuesday, December 12, 2017 and 62°F in Austin, Texas

Apple's Announcement - iCloud is Here

A shift in the paradigm of computer usage

This past Monday Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud, and Apple has now joined Amazon and Google in this new phenomenon.  iCloud - like its counterparts are rival companies, will store documents, photos and other content on the internet and sync it across multiple Apple devices at no cost. Use iCloud and you'll not have to worry about lost, stolen or damaged hard drives.  iCloud will hold your magazines and newspapers, silently downloading them to devices overnight. It will back up your iPhones and iPads to the cloud without the help of any computers. All your work documents and home movies and photos and bookmarks will be transported into iCloud, accessible from anywhere.

Nine apps make up iCloud: calendar, contacts, apps, App Store, iBooks, backup, documents, photos and iTunes in the cloud. Users get 5 GB of storage for free — purchased songs, apps, photos and iBooks don’t count against your free storage.

For those of us who have huge numbers of songs in iTunes, iCloud has great advantages, you don't have to tie up a vast swath of hard drive space for music and no matter where you are you can use your iPhone or iPad to access your music.  This is great, I am always worrying about a damaged drive resulting in the loss of the thousands of songs I have purchssed from ITunes and Amazon over the years.

Still there are some things to consider.  First, it is just a matter of time before data thieves get into the Apple data vault.  They are bound to be a target.  Let's not forget - 75 million users’ passwords and personal data on Sony’s Playstation Network were recently stolen, handily demonstrating that even the biggest companies don’t have bulletproof security.  Second, let's not forget that if the web is down you can't access your music collection. This is the reason why I still have a old plain phone and landlines.  When the power goes out (a frequent event here in Texas) I can still dial out and people can reach us at Pallasart.

I worked at Apple for 11 years and I saw the huge success of the Mac and the failures of both Lisa and Newton.  This seems to me to be the next big transformation of the business.  It's been predicted for sometime and now it has arrived.

With iCloud Steve is eliminating and finally freeing us all from the PCs we have been chained to the past 20 years.  I remember lugging computers from the days of the first Mac.  Now we can take that big old monkey off our backs completely.

Bob Atchison