iCloud and You – A Match Made in Heaven?

As well as iOS5, Apple announced iCloud at WWDC on Monday. While it wasn’t quite what people imagined, it shows the future of Apple and computing in general. So what does it mean for you?

Firstly the iCloud means you will be able to sync your songs, apps, and even iBooks between all your devices. So if you have an iDevice and Mac it means you can keep everything synced automatically. As soon as you buy something on one device it will appear on your other devices. Obviously this relies on you having more than one Apple device, but you do have more than one right?!

The second part of iCloud is iTunes Match. This service means you can take any songs you have ripped from CDs (or any other way of getting music) and iTunes will match it for you from their 18 million strong catalog. You will then be able to download it to all your devices and use it just like you downloaded it from the iTunes Store in the first place. The only catch is that it will cost you $24.99 a year to use this service.

The most useful feature of iCloud though will be the automatic backup of your iDevice. This means if your device goes wrong then all your data will be available to download anywhere you have an internet connection and get it working again.

What most people thought iCloud would bring was a streaming service similar to Spotify and allow you to play a certain amount of music for a monthly fee. While it didn’t appear at this WWDC perhaps the music labels are scared of giving too much away to Apple again and want to see how many paying customers they can get for iTunes Match before allowing open access to all their music.

So what do you think of iCloud? Were you hoping for more?

What Apple Didn’t Show You

Yesterday, June 6th, Apple showed off iOS5 and the improvements it will bring. Sure everyone is excited about Notification Center and Safari Reader but there’s one slide that interested me and it shows up right near the end of Scott Forstall’s talk. If you haven’t watched it yet you can do so for free on Apple.

This slide came up as the 200 other features that will be coming in iOS5 and I just want to highlight a few of them for you.

  • Personal Dictionary
Now the dictionary with the iPhone is pretty good but once it adds a word it’s impossible to get rid of it. This was a feature that appeared in early iOS4 demos last year but never made the final cut. I’m guessing it’s the same and will allow you to edit the dictionary to your liking.
  • Emoji Emoticons
You know those little smiley faces? Well they are Emoji and are extremely popular in Japan and China but people in other countries seem to like them too judging by the amount of Emoji apps in the App Store. It seems Apple are finally going to open it up to all users with iOS5 though.
  • Swipe to Delete Songs
A song somehow got synced over that you hate but it’ll be OK as it looks like you’ll be able to delete straight from your device.
  • Custom Vibration Patterns and LED Flash
While custom vibration patterns seems like a great way to tell what are important phone calls apart from not-so-important you’ll also now be able to turn the LED on the iPhone4 into a beacon. This seems to be an idea pilfered straight from Blackberry, along with iMessages of course. Could this also hint at an LED flash being included on the front for the next iPhone?
It definitely seems like Apple has a lot planned for this update and it seems like a long wait until Fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s released just a few days before the traditional September Apple event so you’ll likely have to wait until then. Also expect the next iPhone to be announced then.