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Jobs unveils OS updates, but impresses only a little with iCloud plans

A ghostly thin Steve Jobs presided over the proceedings at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference and the major events of the day – its cloud stra

By PETER WHITE

Published: 9 June, 2011

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A ghostly thin Steve Jobs presided over the proceedings at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference and the major events of the day – its cloud strategy, a new version of Apple iOS and another Mac OS release.

But this was not Apple on its best day and little that it came out with was interesting and almost none of it was earth shattering. It might have been a Motorola or Hewlett-Packard event if it hadn’t been for the predominant “sweater” culture that pervades Apple these days.

From our point of view this was yet another occasion then Apple failed to grasp the initiative we believe it has to in video if it wants to keep its tablet strategy alive and on-track. We believe that the speed at which the iPad is overtaken by Android will depend largely on the freely available delivery of video to iPads.

To be fair to Apple this was probably the day for getting new OS updates out of the door, and the core iCloud feature-set, and another day down the road may be set aside for launching services built around iCloud capability. Most observers had expected a streaming video service to be launched and we had expected it back when the iPad first came out, but it looks like this is taking an inordinate amount of time. Studios tend to want to release such a new idea to two or three majors at once and not give Apple any kind of exclusive, but streaming cloud video services have to come.

Apart from that, Apple’s iCloud strategy seemed pretty comprehensive and by and large Apple has done a far better, and clearer job on cloud storage than Amazon or Google. It is offering 5GB of free storage, the same as Amazon, but this doesn’t include any music, apps and books purchased from Apple, as well as the storage required by a new photo sharing feature called Photo Stream. These are free, no matter what size they go to and include the first 1,000 photos you take or store.

All of these items, but not purchased commercial video, will automatically be sent to up to ten devices, which we understand to have to be iOS, Mac or PC, but not other smartphones or especially not Androids. You can opt to have photos placed into Photo Stream and they can be seen on every iOS device you own, Apps that you download to play on your iPhone can be automatically distributed to every iOS device you own; basically whenever anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices are wirelessly updated almost instantly, if you want them to be. Video being very bulky would eat all the storage on all your devices in no time, so this has to be uploaded separately to the cloud storage and then individually downloaded to each device. Once again, streams of video would make this unnecessary, and their day must come.

“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” said Jobs. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

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