What’s the latest thing on the lips of everyone in the tech game? Of course it has to be Apple’s new iCloud announcement earlier this week. Clouds are really the cherry on the top of a lot of digital cakes right now since they enable users to access their data (i.e. films, music, etc) from anywhere on any device. I reported on Google’s cloud here not long ago, but now it’s time to examine Apple’s offering. With the Cloud phenomenon taking over, it’s also good to do a quick compare and contrast to see what you’ll actually be getting for money and/or effort from some of the leaders in this technology. So fasten your seat belts, here we go:
#1 By logging into iCloud, users can access to all previously purchased musicfrom iTunes no matter which device he/she is using — iPhone, iPod, iPad, or computer. Gone is the hassle of multiple purchase or the inconvenience of traveling with one device only to remember that your favorite joints are, in fact, on a different platform. And later this fall, Apple will offer iTunes Match which will be able to scan a user’s entire local iTunes library and provide access to high quality AAC files of songs found for direct download to any device associated with their iTunes account. The important take-aways about this services is that it can be used for any music that you already have on your device, not just tracks purchased via iTunes.
Also, Apple reports that it will actually enable users to match thousands thousands of tracks in just “minutes”. Google and Amazon? Apple says it would take weeks for their competitor’s systems to complete Apple’s iTunes Match scanning service. And given that iTunes Match is not tied solely to the Apple purchase system, this cloud package could really become the dominant one for today’s make-it-happen-now consumers whose music library is often compiled from a number of different sources (both paid and non-paid).
#2 5GB free (at least at first) when you register and all your apps, music and all don’t even count within that. However, if you’re going to be checking for the iTunes Match service, that will cost $24.99 a year. Amazon’s annual price is $50. Google has not yet reported one.
#3 iCloud enables you to take a photo on one device and have it immediately appear on all your other devices – no syncing required. The photo is pushed to the cloud and your other devices see it. Futher, all your apps, books, and documents are backed up and accessible any time you want them. Amazon and Google do not yet seem to be able to offer the photo element yet (since they are not devices, per se) but certainly the latter features go toe-to-toe with the iCloud offering.
So what are your thoughts on how iCloud stacks up and what it has to offer? Lemme know below.