Posts Tagged ‘iCloud’

On Monday, Apple announced its new cloud-based media service iCloud. The service allows users to store music, photos, and apps on Apple’s servers and access them from their iOS devices, Macs, or PCs.

That’s great for music and photography fans, but what about us cinefiles and gamers? Where’s our love? For now, Apple isn’t showing us much, but the potential exists to integrate the service with games and movies in a way that no one has done before, and it just so happens that I have a few suggestions about how that should come to be.

As a side note, I’d just like to say how much I’m looking forward to no longer being burdened by iTunes’ restrictive nature when it comes to my music. Before iCloud, if I wanted to buy a song through iTunes at home, sync it to my iPhone, then transfer that song to my Tunes library at work, I couldn’t. Which is ridiculous and antiquated functionality that I am very happy to see go.

This was an issue for years, and I’m surprised it’s taken this long to see it fully addressed. So I guess a thanks to Apple is in order; however, it’s one of those thanks a wife gives her husband after she’s reminded him five times to take out the now-overflowing garbage, and he finally does.

If you’ve (literally) bought into the the Apple iDevice ecosystem and you’re a gamer, you likely use both your iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad to game.

I personally prefer gaming on the iPad over the smaller iDevices, but will use my iPhone when I’m away from home. The iPad is more of a “couch/bed computer” and usually doesn’t leave the relative safety of my abode.

So, when I’m on the bus or sitting in a theater alone waiting for my third viewing of “Thor” to start, out comes the iPhone. I use it to pass the time and distract myself from the fact that I’m sitting in a theater alone waiting for my third viewing of “Thor” to start.

Whether it’s Infinity Blade or Cut the Rope, eventually the time comes when I need to stop playing, usually right in the middle of particularly difficult fight or level. Then, after the movie’s over and I’ve wiped my eyes dry of tears–hopefully before my wife sees me–I’ll want to continue my casual gaming experience at home, starting from the exact point I left off.

Currently, I have no choice but to continue playing on my 3.5-inch screen, while the much larger and sexier screen of the iPad taunts me from the coffee table as only a foul temptress can.

I propose that Apple implements a way to store game progress info from your iDevice to the cloud and pushes it to your other iDevices, making the Apple ecosystem that much more appealing and also catering to what understandably could be my very particular needs.

Well, it’s probably not that particular and it’s not as if this is completely unprecedented. Open Feint allowed certain games to do this very successfully, so the technology exists in some form. I’m just waiting for Apple to throw us gamers a little iCloud love.

Now, I know Apple currently has no plans to allow users to stream movies via iCloud, and there are likely some carrier bandwidth issues that could make this a difficult proposition, at least via cellular. As a tech journalist I’m paid to take issues like that into account, but as a consumer, I just want the thing I want. The technical issues why I can’t get the thing I want aren’t important to me.

Netflix has great cloud-based functionality that allows me to stream a movie on my Xbox, stop it, and then continue on my iPad or PC, right where I left off. Unfortunately, getting a movie I actually want to see (and not just settle for) is such an incredible rarity on the service.

Being able to easily stream movies from my own library onto any of my iDevices at any time would make annoying, socially awkward gatherings with people I don’t like or care about that much more tolerable if I knew I could, at a moment’s notice, break out the opening scene to “X2” and sink back into a fanboy nerdgasm. Bad for personal development, yes, but great for geek cred (those things are usually antithetical anyway).

In all seriousness, I hope Apple is at least considering these avenues of iCloud implementation. The service has the potential to expand the appeal of Apple’s ecosystem by increasing its usefulness the more iDevices you own. Here’s hoping Apple doesn’t limit that use to just music and photos.


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SkyDrive, el equivalente a iCloud de Microsoft, se incluirá en la próxima actualización de su sistema operativo móvil, que por el momento se conoce como Mango. Este movimiento fue anunciado un día después de que Apple presentase iCloud, su servicio de almacenamiento, sincronización y backup de la nube que estará disponible con iOS 5.

Pero no sólo la presentación de la integración de SkyDrive (el servicio en sí existe desde hace años) coincide en el tiempo con la de iCloud. Por si fuera poco, iOS 5 y Mango serán lanzados este otoño.

Pero, aparte de fechas de salida similares, ¿serán parecidos los servicios?

Según el blog de Microsoft, SkyDrive se integrará de forma más profunda con Mango, de modo que los usuarios podrán compartir las fotos almacenadas en el servicio a través de correo electrónico, mensajes de texto o servicios de mensajería instantánea.

Asimismo, los usuarios podrán subir vídeos y otros archivos a SkyDrive y verlos, compartirlos o buscarlos. En este sentido, por lo tanto, se parece a iCloud. Sin embargo, el servicio de Apple también permitirá sincronizar la música gracias a iTunes, mientras que Microsoft, que podría ofrecer el mismo servicio con Zune, no se ha pronunciado al respecto.

En cuanto a la navegación, SkyDrive permite acceder a los archivos almacenados (se pueden ocurpar hasta 25 Gb de espacio) mediante la aplicación correspondiente o mediante un navegador que soporte HTML5. Por su parte, iCloud, que soporta documentos de iWork por defecto, permitirá que se vean y se editen, pero sólo desde la aplicación, no desde un navegador.

Por otro lado, la sincronización será más completa en iCloud, ya que se hará en distintos dispositivos, mientras que, aunque SkyDrive permitirá compartir fotos y vídeos por correo o mensajes, no los sincronizará en distintos teléfonos.

Por su parte, los desarrolladores podrían decantarse por el servicio de Apple debido a la API de iCloud, que les permitirá sincronizar y almacenar los documentos de sus aplicaciones en iCloud, mientras que SkyDrive, por el momento, no ofrece esta posibilidad. No obstante, es de esperar que lo haga en un futuro.

Lo más curioso de esta situación es que, a pesar de que Apple parece tener ventaja, Microsoft lanzó SkyDrive en 2007 (aunque entonces no existía Windows Phone). El problema es que no lo convirtieron en un servicio de sincronización, almacenamiento y backup en la nube, sino que crearon servicios separados para ello, que también servían de almacenamiento, como Windows Live Mesh.

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