What is Cloud Computing – Apple iCloud
The structure of how the Internet operates has been changing rapidly as developers and computer experts look for new and exciting ways to make the most of the environment and push a few boundaries. This can be seen in the area of Cloud based technology, where the word Cloud is used to denote a service offered by a company or person to people using the Internet. Utilising extremely fast and large web servers, computer developers create a programme for the public to either pay for or is given free with certain hardware. This in turn then allows users and members to access specific software applications. Naturally, tasks like file, music, photo, game or application sharing becomes significantly faster and easier, as it can take place instantly via a Wi-Fi connection and multiple devices can have the some information placed upon them in the same instance. The software created by a company, does not see the devices as separate entities – it understands in this instance, they are linked and therefore require all changes to documents or purchases, for instance, to show on each piece of hardware.
Apple iCloud is an extremely good example of how this can work productively. If you buy any new Apple product, such as an iPad3, iPhone4GS, iPod Touch, a Mac installed with Lion X OS or a PC with Vista or Windows 7, you will be able to connect to iCloud with ease. With the roll out of update iOS5.1, older versions of these products can also access iCloud but you will need a Mac with Lion OS to take advantage of the full features. For Mac users, simple jump into ‘system preferences’ and locate iCloud under the ‘Internet and Wireless’ menu. The next step is to enable ‘Photo Stream’ in iPhoto and then lastly, there are three boxes to tick when setting up ‘automatic downloads’. These consist of ‘music’, ‘apps’ and ‘books’.
To get your other Apple products talking to iCloud, you need make sure they have installed the iOS5.1 update and then you physically have to go into the application on the device to turn on iCloud. Once again, you need to customise your settings and sort out which automatic downloads you want. The reality of setting this up is incredibly easy and you can quickly get to grips with what is actually on offer when using iCloud.
Apple is generously giving 5GB worth of memory space for each user to play around with. If you swing between using your iPhone, iPad and Mac and want to be able to access the same applications where you left off, this is a brilliant tool for you. You can download books, bookmark the last page you read on your iPad and then use your iPhone to carry on reading from where you left off earlier. The same practice applies to any documents you may be working on in say, an application like Keynote. If you make changes on your Mac, these changes will also seamlessly and at the same time be changed on any other devices sharing iCloud.
In this current climate taking photographs on a phone, is an immediate way for people to capture moments and photograph sharing takes on a different dimension, as it is spun across your devices as soon as it is taken. The capacity on any device is 1000 photographs and these can be saved permanently to your phone, for instance, by saving it directly to a camera roll. Every single photograph taken will automatically be placed on your Mac, so hard storage is always up-to-date and available. Photos in your ‘Photo Stream’ are available to people using Apple TV, allowing pictures to be shared with groups of friends or family in glorious high definition.
Music also takes on an easier stance, which is where some people will benefit from this multiple sharing across devices, as all the music you have ever downloaded on iTunes can be accessed from any device. No more dragging the music you want from your Mac to your iPod or iPhone, as it is all stored in iCloud and you can download just the music you want to listen to, at that precise moment.
For those people who are using their devices in a professional way, then finding your calendar updating on every device in real time, is also a definite boon. Emailing, reminders and contact information is as fresh and proficient, as it possibly can be, giving you the peace of mind you have the right details when walking into a meeting or seeing a new business contract for the first time.
Certainly Apple has made sure iCloud has a lot to offer their consumers and it will be interesting to see the direction they take it in over the next few years. There have been a few complaints levelled at them about a lack of compatibility with older versions of the Mac OS, although this will probably be rectified at some point, as Apple have a very loyal client base they do not want to lose. If you have multiple Apple products compatible with iCloud, it is definitely worth checking out and seeing how the synchronisation and instance access can work for you.