If you haven't already seen, Apple announced several iPod enhancements on Wednesday, along with updates to iTunes and Apple TV. Leading up to the announcements, the blogging and social media community was abuzz with rumors about what was going to be the next big thing from Apple. One prediction that was widely made was the move of iTunes to the cloud, making it accessible on any internet-ready device.
Obviously, this wasn’t the case on Wednesday, but it makes you wonder if Apple has an aversion to the cloud. Back in February I posted about Apple's massive new data center in North Carolina, and questioned whether or not it was an indication of a move to put iTunes into the cloud. Since then, there has been an increasing amount of discussion surrounding Apple and whether or not they will move into the cloud computing space. What would this mean for consumers?
To be frank, Apple's data center won't be ready until late 2010, and that is probably the main reason no announcement was made yesterday about an iTunes cloud service, but for the sake of discussion: could security issues, and concerns for consumer privacy, also be delaying Apple's cloud move?
If we are just talking iTunes, I can't really see people being too worried about sharing their iTunes libraries, given the enormous amount of information people already make public on sites like MySpace, FourSquare, Twitter, and Facebook. Therefore, if iTunes is Apple's first move in the cloud territory, it seems like a relatively safe one. That being said, there is a difference between what people choose to make public on social media sights, and the publicly hosted information that people DO NOT want public. For example, the Google Buzz disaster is a prime example of what happens when a company, that hosts your information in the cloud, decides to roll out a "new feature" that unwittingly puts private information into public view. I can imagine that Apple will take great care in protecting information in iTunes, but I don't see them stopping at iTunes when it comes to customer cloud offerings. And why would you, if you were Apple? With a new data center up, and the cloud being a fast-moving, fun new "technology," hosting other "iData" seems like a logical next step.
Consider this: the iPhone is a great tool for sharing information online, but the iPhone, and smart phones in general, also contain a large amount of very private data. Phone numbers, calendars, text messages, and personal emails are all things that people do not typically want public.
Apple Cloud Disaster Scenario
Apple offers a "Contacts in the Cloud" service where you can backup all your contact information in the Cloud (MobileMe is pretty darn close). A Google Buzz-esque accidental release of information happens and you are going to have some seriously upset customers. With over 12 billion songs downloaded on iTunes, and over 70% of the world's online digital music sales, Apple has a lot to lose. With that in mind, I would take my time rolling out a new cloud service, but considering that Sony announced a cloud-based music service yesterday, Apple's iTunes cloud can't dilly-dally for too long.
What do you think? Are you concerned about your data's security in an Apple cloud?
Back in February we published a story about the new $1 billion massive data center being built by Apple. Well a little more than 4 months later, that data center is finished and operational, and there is buzz all over the web about the new cloud computing capabilities Apple is developing.
According to experts at BGR, Apple plans on making an iTunes shift toward the cloud. This shift will allow:
- Streaming movies, music and tv shows from Apple servers to personal computers, ipods, and other devices.
- Streaming movies, music, and tv shows from your own computers to other computers and shared devices
- Wireless iTunes syncing with devices
The wireless syncing feature will automatically load any song, application, video, or change made to your calendar or address book, with your computer and other devices - all through Apple's new cloud infrastructure. Apple always has the world on the edge of their seats, waiting for the newest innovation they'll roll out, and now Apple has gone out of this world... and into the cloud. Lame wordplay aside, I am really excited to see what cool innovation Apple's new data center will foster.
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Maiden, North Carolina: Apple is building a massive new data center roughly 500,000 square feet. This new data center is roughly 5 times the size of Apple's existing data center. Much of the speculation surrounding the buildings' construction is that Apple is moving towards a cloud computing service. Perhaps the iTunes music platform will be moved from the desktop to the cloud? This video shows the tremendous size and scale of the facility, sparking theories on what Apple is planning next.