back to article Apple opens iCloud to world+dog

Apple's new iCloud will be the online repository for Contacts, Calendars, Mail, Photos, and iTunes. Less expected – but hoped for – was news that the cloudy storage locker will also be available to third-party developers to provide document storage and retrieval for their apps. Apple's MobileMe is dead. iCloud is the new …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Wayne Putterill


    Will BSOD become Blue Sky of Death?

  2. Gordon 10

    Just what's needed

    One major issue I have is that my iPad and iPhone are never in sync. The basic pim data usually us but any third party apps are not. This should fix that problem eventually.

    Complex way of replacing a file system though.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Abstraction is never easy

      The technology is complex, but the simpler things are to use the more complex the technology becomes as you're providing a layer of abstraction to the user.

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    The cloud...

    That sounds like an awful lot of data to move over a single dialup connection. Also, beter watche the Roomba schedule closely, lest it interupts your dilettante iDevice-based DJing in the middle of a party.

  4. maccy

    An awful lot ...

    ... of catching up on their competitors going on there. Didn't apple make this mistake before? Innovative premium products followed by a period of complacency followed by ... a near-death experience.

  5. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    Wow Steve

    You've invented the worlds biggest pogoplug !

    What happens if the iCloud falls over, do you lose access to your synced tunes and pics?

    What happens if you have no wifi? are you going to get be bent over and given the good news by your mobile operator for all the instant syncs?

    Roaming data charges, now that wont be a pretty one either!

    I would be wanting to see a lot more detail before committing to the jobsian cloud dream.

    1. jai

      Re: no wifi

      In the iPhone settings panel store there is a option (yes, it's there right now) to choose whether or not to sync all your purchased items over 3G or just wifi only

    2. RichyS
      Thumb Down


      You're a glass half empty sort of a guy aren't you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tell me

      Which part of your insightful post relates to Apple and not every other cloud service? Also, if you were up on the news you would realise the iCloud includes local WiFi as well as over the net syncing so the unified ecosystem is showing advantages beyond the also rans.

      1. nsld

        @anonymous coward 00:20 7th june

        Well done for spotting that the iCloud is no different to any other cloud setup, hence my comment about it being the worlds biggest pogoplug!

        I am not sure you actually get how this cloud stuff works, you need a net connection to get at your data unless you have a local copy to hand, being able to sync over "local wifi" is meaningless, you still have to get on the net!

        Not sure what you mean about the unified ecosystem as they have opened the icloud up to other platforms if you had been upto speed on the announcement you would have seen that!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not getting it

          To me, syncing means that you have local copies. If there's no local copy, there's nothing to sync.

  6. Jay Jaffa

    Where's Ballmer while this is going on ...

    Awesome, iOS update awesome. I'm a MSFT VC++ dev - gutted. Moving over to APPL - it's the future

  7. Maliciously Crafted Packet


    over at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California.

  8. CmdrX3

    I'll keep my head out of the clouds if you don't mind

    Am I the only person who wants to keeps his files, documents and data firmly planted within my own four walls.

    1. Josco

      Re: Am I the only....


    2. rob miller


      You're just not appreciating the efficiency gains available here. Not only do you no longer have to hassle with your crappy backup and security plans, but all that time you waste shopping can just disappear because we'll be able to provide you with just the advertisements you want to see for the products you need, based on your personal information. None of that computer generated noise either, we will provide personal confidantes who will know and understand your deepest desires based on a holistic understanding of the documents and data of your life. Eventually we'll be launching the iGet system, which will stream exciting products straight to you without you even bothering to ask. In the new lifestyle you will become one with the product space, as you work, produce and receive in harmony with the cloud -- and no longer have to interact with those dirty, disgusting people in your local community.

      1. Ted Treen


        So you've described my local community. Lucky guess – or do you really know something?

    3. Alan Bourke

      No you're not.

      Not by a long shot.

  9. Peter H. Coffin

    Ten years to get rid of the filesystem?

    'cept there's probably still going to be a filesystem, still going to be documents in folders, still going to be a hierarchy of directories.

    The thing that really amuses though is that once again, Jobs is completely ignoring the work done by his predecessor that DID EXACTLY WHAT HE'S CLAIMING VICTORY FOR NOW, back 20 years ago. Oh, it didn't go the cloudy thing, but the no-file-system, documents-and-apps-can-share-data thing? That's all Newton territory.

    1. JarekG

      RE: "That's all Newton territory."

      With one exception, back then they didn't have the iZombie army to support them. now they do.

      1. Ted Treen


        was there the army of Ted Heath-alikes muttering "if they did it, I'm agin it!!"

        Must be almost unbearable to have your razor-keen perception & wit.

  10. JeffyPooh

    Hey Dad...

    "... My game is lagging again. Is your iPhone still turned on? When are we getting fibre?"

  11. TheOtherHobbbes

    And in other news...

    The Sony Network was an easy hack.

    Apple battles its first serious virus.

    And a certain American named (of course...) Weiner has been caught Twittering photos of his tackle.

    Put those together, and the contents of that famous NC datacenter are going to be one of the most fun collections of data in the world.

    1. Toggi3

      torjan != serious virus

      Trojans are not 'serious virus' threats in any sense, they are child's play. Especially ones that dont try to use even the most basic methods of hiding themselves or embedding themselves in the system.

      If you *actually* install something because a popup told you to do it, you are helpless and shouldn't be using a computer unsupervised.

      Furthermore this isn't the first bit of malicious trojan software ever to come to MacOS

      1. Dante

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        "If you *actually* install something because a popup told you to do it, you are helpless and shouldn't be using a computer unsupervised."

        Can we just take a second to think on who Apple pitch their wares at?

        1. Ted Treen

          So why...

 there a proliferation of and extremely long history of this crud aimed at Windows users?

          Surely it can't all have been so unsuccessful because of Windows' inherent security and the average Windows user's tech-savvy that the ungodly thought for years and years "I'll just keep trying...Just in case"...

      2. Anonymous Coward

        'Not serious'????

        They are serious if they convince people to part with money or compromise their personal details.

        It's easy for you to be smug and tell people they 'shouldn't be using a computer unsupervised' but in the same way that most people couldn't fix their car if it went wrong, because they just get in it and use it, most people can't fix their computer. That's quite normal, and we - the geeks - are the aberrant ones.

        Further, since 'everyone knows Apples don't get viruses', if your Apple tells you to do something, you can trust it. That's the thinking that's been engendered.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Is the 'fail' icon for feeding the (clearly marked) troll?

        Can't help but think they've just painted a big red target onto that data centre though...

      4. TheOtherHobbbes

        You completely miss the point

        of course.

        Half of the point being that iCloud isn't going to have bullet proof security. And whether it's attacked by trojans, viruses, or social engineering, it will be attacked.

        The other half being that Apple will now have access to every user's personal emails, photos and documents. Some of them are bound to be - let's say - "interesting."

        I give it eighteen months before there's a serious security breach and an outbreak of personal embarrassment.

        "If you *actually* install something because a popup told you to do it, you are helpless and shouldn't be using a computer unsupervised."

        No, if you actually design a system which allows users to do this, you shouldn't be in the mass computing market.

        Because - here's a novel concept - not all users are developers or experts.

        Nor should they be - especially not if your schtick is simplified appliance computing.

  12. Adam T

    it's the future

    Cloud? What's a cloud? Just a big hard disk isn't it? Ohhh, I see. Yeah, that makes sense. Clever.

    Well I understand what they're selling, which is more than I can say for anyone other than Dropbox.

    And this ain't Dropbox, which to be frank is bloody irritating (COPY don't MOVE! AGH! WHO WRITES THIS SH*T!?).

  13. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    Is it just me or is the proposed service somewhat underwhelming? How much instant sync is required? For me that is pretty much limited to contacts and appointments. The music thing is a solution looking for a problem for me even though I can imagine there will be hordes who will love it.

    But the background synchronisation of everything without a "sharing" option looks like a mistake. Something like Dropbox already allows me to do the background stuff transparently, across platforms and works surprisingly well (let's ignore the security issues for now). But it also offers a simple way to share stuff, surely the sort of the thing you want to do with photos? I guess the 10 device limit might come in there but there is a difference between showing gran and grandad the latest pictures and sharing your music collection with them. But maybe icloud comes with a public interface to the photos?

    Coming back to security - this is going to be a nightmare for all these services.

  14. M Gale

    I can see this being fun.

    "When a contact, calendar, or mail message is updated on any iOS device or Mac OS X PC, it will be uploaded to iCloud and immediately pushed to all other devices registered to that account."

    A friend of mine has a rather nice girlfriend. Ex centrefold, and she has still "got it", as it were. She also has a 9 year old kid with an iPod, and he has an iPhone 4, both registered to the same account.

    Methinks those two are going to have to be VERY careful about what they send to each other, eh? Really, cloud-synced-everything was one of the first things on the droidphone that I turned OFF.

    As an aside: Will iOS 5 support OBEX bluetooth transfer? It's not like every other mobile phone in the world doesn't support it or anything...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...or it didn't happen.

      The cloud address will do fine.

  15. Tony Paulazzo

    Title # 23852

    >Am I the only person who wants to keeps his files, documents and data firmly planted within my own four walls.<

    No, me too, but unless I got this wrong, here's what I can do, upload my over 30GB of ripped CD music up to their cloud from my PC - most of it probably recognised by their match your music tech (mostly 60s, 70s and 80s stuff), then listen to what I want on my 16GB iPad without killing the paltry allowance (no sdcard or USB port which now starts to make Apple financial sense).

    Unfortunately I've got a PC, Android phone and iPad, so the calendar etc synch will be useless to me, luckily I can still carry on with Google calendar which does let me synch all three disparate devices together.

    Don't hear much love for Safari updating, just ripping off instapaper, an app for reading pages later, no full screen mode, no enlarging text, no changing the default browser, or at least, not publicly acknowledged so far.

  16. John Aislabie

    Lets hope there really are opt outs

    I hope that I can opt out of having the sync work, since I have different requirements for different machines.

    And I especially do not want the system to run a back up on my data. There is no cloud I would ever trust anywhere in which I would confidently leave my data lying about. Nor one that would leave my pictures in.

    My computer is probably more hackable, but less attractive than the potential motherlode available in a cloud data centre. When my data and mail is downloaded and backed up at my end, and my pictures are backed up on a DVD stored in a separate location, there is some chance of hanging onto it. For now, I view undisturbed long term cloud storage as wishful thinking, and from privacy point of view, far too much temptation for various self-important and morally questionable authorities to keep their mucking hands off.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    People are stupid. Pay a large Corporation to take your data.

    If you take corporate data and give it to someone or even loose it, you are prosecuted. If you pay a corporation to take your data and they loose it or they don't secure their network then you are Sh*t Out of Luck. They just hide behind their EULA.

    You don't give personal info to corporations. The way the laws are written, no one is responsible if they loose your data or through their lacks security someone steals it, your a screwed.. Apple is giving this service away from free only to post ads and to track people behaviors. Then sell it to other corporations.

    And before the "apologizers" say ti is the hackers fault, it is always the systems administrators fault when data is breached and by proxy his employer.

    Paris because she has already learned the dangers of leaked personal info on the Internet.

  18. Synonymous Howard

    Syncing not streaming

    The key part for me is that the iCloud service is mostly ISync with caching. You can store documents and device backups and 'copies' (symlinks) of your music BUT the permanent storage is still on your devices.

    So it drives hardware sales (upsell to bigger capacity iPads etc) and a greater lock-in to Apple's ecosystem (which for most people will be met with open arms).

    I'm interested in how the encryption works .. do Apple have a master key backdoor? Do they create a random symmetric key (to encrypt all the data stored) and then encrypt that key with your AppleID password?

    What privacy is guaranteed in the terms and conditions? I'm sure that governments will be watching them very closely over that.

    On it's own iCloud looks interesting (and free!) but taken with iOS5 (free?) and Lion (almost free) it is looking like a very interesting Autumn ... now I wonder if there going to be some new kit released then as well to help pay for all these free goodies?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Simply not enough storage

    Sorry, but I can't be unque in having:

    - 600Gb of personal data

    - 90Gb of photo's

    - 500mb of email

    - 1.3Tb of itunes media (DRM and non-DRM)

    - 200mb of ebooks

    I don't want 1000 photo's, first 100mb of X or 500 most recent Y's...I want the f*ing lot in one place, and I want it secure and encryptable (especially for my personal data), and available 99% of the time, and at full broadband speed (for me - 1.2mb/sec).

    So while I admire the service, and would love to make use of it, it's simply not practical. I suppose I could come up with a new strategy to cloud-ify some of this, but frankly - why bother? The only thing I'd actually *want* is a centralised and streamed iphoto library, and Apple has already crippled that with the 1000 photo restriction.

    Nah. Pass. It's staying within my 4 walls for now.

    1. Alan Bourke


      Especially with the photos. This is why I can't even use online backup with them, because there isn't an affordable online backup service that will do an initial data take-on from a USB stick or portable HDD or something. I'm not shunting 100GB up the wire.

      Farg it. Invest in a handful of 500GB USB hard drives and do rotating backups on those.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Online photo backup

        Try Crashplan, You can seed the backup via a 1TB USB hard drive they'll send you - costs $125 but well worth it if you have lots of data.

        Right now I have over 1.6TB online with them and for me, the price is reasonable (< $100/year) for unlimited storage on multiple computers. So far, it just works.

        Caveat: Mozy was like this three years ago when I started using them, and then they killed the unlimited backup option and wanted something like $1,000/mo to store my 1.5TB. Let's hope Crashplan doesn't follow suit.

    2. tony

      A Title

      No you're not unique, but it sounds like this service isn't designed for you (or me for that matter). Just because of the amount of crap we've got, although I do use parts of a cloud service for some data currently but until somewhere offers 5tb my media is staying where it is.

      This service sounds like it'll be a god send for the non technical user, the person who thinks they're making a backup by dragging the "my documents" folder onto a 16mb memory stick. The look on a friends face when his computer was lost and they said they were having trouble recovering a few gigs worth of stuff from a 1k .lnk file...

    3. Synonymous Howard
      Thumb Up

      Its for the 99% of everyone who don't have huge quantities of legally acquired media

      Whilst 5Gb of FREE space is not enough for some people (like you and me with terrabytes of digital media) ... it will be more than enough for most people.

      Plus remember that this 5Gb does not include ANY media (videos/music/tv shows) that is available from iTunes because when you subscribe to the iTunes Match service ($25/year) it checks your iTunes media and gives you a link to Apple's copy of the same media (albeit at 256Kbs AAC non-DRM). If you only buy media from iTunes then the Match service is not needed and (assuming I didn't mishear Steve Jobs) it also does not eat in to the 5Gb anyway.

      So iCloud is really iCache or iBuffer or even just iSync; its not a big disk in the sky its a big device content synchronization service .. it should solve a number of frustrations with current mobile device management ... what it is not is a just big data bucket.

      The Photo Stream is just that, a Stream of the last 1000 photos (or last 30 days) synced to the cloud .. its a big cut and paste buffer for photos (I think I'm right in saying it also does not come out of the 5Gb 'disk' space) ... its there to perform auto-sync between devices and if you want to permanently keep them on a device just move it to an on device album.

      So Apple have thought about how the majority of users want to work with multiple devices and it does look very good ... the devil will be in the implementation detail .. however after the moanathon of MobileMe, I suspect Apple have learnt a valuable lesson and have been beta-testing this for months already. By saying "It just works" they have a lot to live up to this time.

      The iWorks suite integration looks like Google Docs done right, i.e. with a thickish client but with seemless backups / cloud syncing and group sharing. I suspect iCloud will drive a big take up of iWorks apps.

      The "No PC required" element of the setup and use of iDevices is excellent and is again all that is required for a large number of people who won't buy a mobile device because of the need to have a PC for backups/upgrades/media. Daily auto-backups over wifi .. another nice trick.

      Apple's triple play (Lion / iOS 5 / iCloud) is certainly the best announcement from them for the last year ... personally I can't wait 'till Autumn to spend £22 on Lion and get a free iOS5 upgrade and get a free iCloud account... now where is the MacBook Air with backlit keyboard Steve?

  20. spider from mars

    years too late

    this is all very well, but... I've already got Google Apps and Dropbox. Everything I would want to sync via iCloud is already synched over those services.

    If i was a new adopted this might be nice.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Ovi does most of this already and has done for a long time....oh yeah, forgot, Ovi ain't cool...

    ...excuse me while I buy lots of "apps" for my iPhone, which the native browser does for free...

    1. Alan Bourke

      Not only is it not cool ...

      ... it has an even slower UI than the Windows version of iTunes and is a crappier store than even the PSP one.

  22. Spongibrain

    International roaming gets more expensive

    Sounds like disabling Cellular Data is going to get even more crippling; what's that going to mean for the next trip to the continent ?

  23. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Cloud service? Not in a million years.

    The first lawyer, doctor or banker using this stuff will get his/her rear end sued off for illegal disclosure - in some countries I work, carrying bank data across borders is actually illegal.

    The HUGE problem with cloud service is that you have no idea where data is hosted and under what quality regime. Do I trust Apple to do it right? No, because it will be some provider working for Apple - one I cannot choose, control or audit, and naturally I'll have no idea under which jurisdiction they operate (ditto with Google).

    So, hurray for some, just not for me.. Clouds have too fluffy edges..

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Slighty OT ...

    but amusing to think of PC Plod trying to seize iPhones to delete the pictures of them now !

    1. M Gale
      Black Helicopters


      ..they'll just contact the Cloud Provider who will be happy to ensure those pictures disappear forever, not just from their servers but from every single attached device that has a file matching the same signature.

      Welcome to the future.

  25. gaz 7
    IT Angle

    Anything on Linux for this functionality?

    Bit of crowdsourcing here - I have been looking for something for Linux to give me this kind of functionality.

    There is Pogoplug, Tonido - but they also seem to rely at some point on being able to call home.

    What I am after is something similar on linux, which is user friendly like this or pogoplug, but only stays on my boxes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Ubuntu One does what you want? dunno really...

  26. fLaMePrOoF

    Well done Apple... Prepare to be boarded!

    Indeed, they are willingly rolling out the gang plank...

    "iTunes match uses a technology reminiscent of Song Match from – acquired by Apple in December 2009 – to look at your list of songs and match them up with their mates in the iTunes Store. Those song will then be available to you just as if they were purchsed: at 256Kbps AAC."

    Effectively creating a massive laundering system for illegal music; for £24.99 / year you can now 'legalise' all of your downloaded music and Apple turns millions of 'illegal' file sharers into shiny new paying customers.

    And all this from the company who several years ago signed a legal undertaking not to branch out into commercial music under the Apple brand.

    The evil brilliance of it is scary!

  27. llewton


    hand your data over to the clown

    you know you want to

    ... pfffffffffffff

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like