What it means: iCloud v Mobile Me


With the announcement of the axing of mobile me and the introduction of the new platform iCloud theres going to be some issues that crop up, I look into that a little here.

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Mobile Me customers loose out!

Mobile Me copyright of Apple Inc

Cloud computing on the iPhone is something that has been rumoured for a long time now with people even predicting that there would be a phone with just basic memory relying entirely on the cloud. Thankfully that hasn’t come (yet) but iCloud has come along, to much joy because of how it works, however not so much if your a Mobile Me user.

After starting a mobile me subscription last year since I wanted a reliable backup for my files, a little online storage and an actually useful contact backup system that I didn’t have to rely on google for. The great thing was that even though it was a pay service what you got for the cost was good value for money when you considered the actual month they cost (it would work out approximately £5 a month.

However when iCloud was announced all paid users and trial got free subscriptions until June 30th 2012. Now this is actually a good deal, unless like myself your bill date fell on the 6th of June this year and you paid early. Having done so I have had to pay £60 for a service which, had I not paid early in good faith, I wouldn’t have had to pay out and could have continued using the service I wouldn’t have had to pay out.

Yea they are giving me an extra month free at the end but is that really enough? I think not. I took the issue to Apples support team only to be told that there was nothing they could do, I was, afterall getting the service I paid for.

Colour me not impressed.

So what of the cloud?

iCloud by Side-7 - Some Rights Reserved

iCloud by Side-7 - Some Rights Reserved

However that does not mean I’m going to boycott the new service, I like many others will be moving everything over to the cloud service (and maybe retrieving a little of my money but it’s uncertain at this point as it factors on a couple of as yet unannounced points.

The thing about the cloud service apple unveiled is that in one fell swoop they may have just cemented themselves as the leaders of cloud computing on the go for the foreseeable future. By allowing the cloud to integrate all you devices in one go apple have very removed the need for device syncing (I will still do so as I prefer a physical hard copy of my own)

What this means for small business is phenomenal, now people like independent artists don’t have to have
three devices update everytime they update there portfolio. All they have to do is upload it into the cloud and it disseminates into the iPad they use as a portfolio in meetings, there phone for when they are caught talking to people without their pad.

Further to this, it doesn’t just work with photos, in fact this works with calendars, contacts, videos, music, documents made in apples software and more. Additionally since it’s in the cloud it makes it simple to access all that information on another computer when they are working remotely.

This is a connectivity that other cloud providers like google cannot provide reliably. As was said in keynote speech. By keeping the IOS platform closed and tightly controlled on only Apples own hardware it makes integration simple and user friendly. While the cloud could theoretically be implemented on the android platform trying to get manufactures to integrate it into all there devices and have the firmware of older devices upgraded to include the facility is pretty much an impossibility.

And that’s not the only reason..,

Thank you for the music!

By some sort of miracle Apple have managed to get the music labels to sign onboard to “iTunes Match” a new service which scans the music in your library and, where apple have a copy, replaces that with a high version on the cloud for you to have anywhere. This means that the cloud is not just limited to tracks you bought from iTunes but from other vendors and CDs that you have legally copied yourself.

Various companies have tried to get music labels to sign up to various schemes over the years some like this some vastly different like the spotter platform, however this has never been an easy job to do and very very few have succeeded. The amazing thing about apples service is that it looks very likely that the service won’t be able to differentiate between music a person does actually own and music that has come via p2p networking or other means. That means for labels to have signed up to something like this there must be a change in attitude somewhere, perhaps in the long run the system I proposed before could actually be a viable platform to put to them. (see here)

The Verdict

While it will be sad to see Mobile Me go it is good to see that the service will be replaced by a phenomenal undertaking and while yes, for users with just one iDevice this means that they won’t get full advantage of all the features it still worth the jump.

Further although your loosing 15gb of storage space I honestly don’t think I have ever used more than about 2gb on my iDisk in this last year so dropping to 5th shouldn’t worry most users to much. That is not to say that there are no concerns however, people that have used Mobile Me as a web server may have to rethink things but then again, cheep hosting is a lot easier to come by these days and chances are in the long run they are going to save money.

In short iCloud is a service that you should be very excited about when it comes out in the fall!

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!!STOP PRESS!!

Ok so just as I got to the end of the article I received confirmation on the details I was waiting for about the mobile me refund.

According to the info I am getting Apples rebate policy will still apply if you cancel your subscription when iCloud launches (after you have moved your stuff over) this means that while you will not get your full subscription back you can cable the subscription early and get some of it back.

Remember though, cancelling the subscription looses you the rest of the time that Mobile Me will be online, for some that’s ok, for others like the web hosting users you might want to wait a little while to move everything to new servers.

About nomis78

Photographer, Gamer and Internet Blogger and All Around Loon. A simple guy whose a bit of geek and doesn't mind admitting it.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in apple, Cloud Computing, iCloud, Internet Services, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Several thoughts on this.. I would like to make an adjustment to one of your sentences.

    “The thing about the cloud service apple unveiled is that in one fell swoop they may have just cemented themselves as the leaders of cloud computing on the go for the foreseeable future.”

    This, I believe, should read:

    “The thing about the cloud service Apple unveiled is that in one fell swoop they may have just cemented themselves as the leaders of cloud computing FOR APPLE USERS on the go for the foreseeable future.”

    Since this is, as all of Apple’s services and products are, a walled garden they are ultimately cutting themselves out of the larger market, hence they cannot ultimately be the leaders of cloud computing. This also means that people like myself that do have 1 Apple device but use other devices as well will have no compelling reason to use their service as opposed to Google’s, or any number of other cloud computing options.

    Meanwhile, Google and other cloud service providers are choosing openness over simplicity and will see a proper return for it.

    In regards to stating that Apple is offering a connectivity that other providers cannot offer, I just cannot agree with this at all. In order for cloud computing to work in any fashion, you must have an internet-connected device, and since all of Google’s services – just as most other cloud service providers – can be access through any of the modern web browsers, this means that the connectivity they allow is actually much greater. It just requires a few more seconds of effort. i.e. going to the website.

    The sad part of this is that Apple, in this just as in other recent announcements, has losing its innovative edge. They are normally at least six months ahead of other tech companies when it comes to offering new services. In this case, they are the last big player to enter the arena, and their iteration amounts to little more than “what they did, but locked down.”

    And while I would love to share your optimism in regards to a change in attitude of the record industry, I highly doubt that is the case. When it comes to online music sales, iTunes is where it is. This gives Apple the ability to push those companies around a bit and make more reasonable deals than the record industries are willing to make with the other potential players. I do applaud Apple for managing to get themselves into their current situation when it comes to online sales of music, though I’m not sure that the record industries fully understand the implications just yet. We have seen many times that the executives of record labels just don’t understand the technology enough to make proper decisions.

    On a more personal note, given your own fears when it comes to privacy invasion and fear of giving a single company too much of your own personal information, am I safe in assuming that you will in fact be making use of several different cloud service providers? And I certainly hope you are not planning on taking advantage of their full phone backup service, which would make a complete backup of all of the information on an iPhone in the cloud.

    • Thanks for the response hybrid i can certainly see all the points that you have made and honestly had not though of them from that angle, there are still details of the cloud services that havent been made public yet (ie what will happen to the data of iDisk users on the current mobile me service.

      As for access to the services requiring an apple device it has been stated by apple that connectivity will be available on both windows and mac (so far the only major systems left in the dark are Linux distro’s that do not run WINe) via the iTunes interface. Of note on the connectivity front my main point with regards to that was with mobile platforms and enabling this amount of interconnectivity on all of their current devices. (Given that the majority of current android phones are running on old versions of the firmware that receive only limited official upgrade support)

      I do have to agree unfortunately that as of late apple has shown little in the way of innovation with the exception of their recent connectivity solution, however this is also where apple has done well before ensuring that the features and products that they have brought out have done the job properly, now that apple have completed these upgrades to bring their phone in line with current expectations as far as UI and feature support is concerned i hope to see more innovation from them over the next few years.

      On the issue opf the changing attitudes in the music industry unfortunately this is one of those occasions where only time can really tell us what the situation is as far as that is concerned. I myself being ever the optimist hope that there is a shift in the attitudes however, i have to agree with yourself that it is more likely the the greying big wigs of the industry do not understand the ramifications of the service that they just signed up to.

      On the flip side however, it is also possible that they are now looking at the situation along the lines that they are now at least getting some money from people that were before paying nothing, however one does have to wonder if a service like this may just encourage pirating the music for some people.

      As for the use of multiple cloud systems, while normally you would be correct, as of this moment I am unsure. I will probably not take advantage of the full backup feature UNLESS I have to have my phone replaced or a choose to upgrade, in that instance I may use the back up to ease the pain of transitioning devices however the back up would swiftly be deleted. Currently Mobile Me is the only cloud service that I use however beyond email and a back up of my contacts list there is little else available there. While yes, I am aware of the risk of these two items being together, as far as I can see it the benefits are more then sufficient to outweigh them.

      When iCloud fully launches I will be having a good look at the amount of data that it would hold and I shall be looking closely at the security provided within the service before i decide one way or another

  2. I would say that is the best way to approach it. Wait and see. And with the Full Phone Backup, I would most likely only use something like that as a last resort as well, and promptly delete it from the Cloud. I will be anxious to get greater, in-depth looks into all of the different cloud services as they are released. I am currently in the Google Music beta, and I honestly could not be happier with the service. The amount of space they are giving me (at least for now, for free) is absolutely mind boggling. I will be interested to see how things progress in that regard as they open things up to a wider audience. Will Google finally change up their existing business model and charge for Google Music? Or perhaps charge simply for a greater amount of space? It’s hard to say. At present, Google Music beta members are allowed to upload a maximum of 20,000 songs. I consider my collection to be pretty extensive for my tastes, including full discographies of most of the bands that I enjoy, and it still does not surpass even 7,000 songs.

    • yep, i looked at my collection after you posted that and decided to look at the count in my linux library (which include a good 90% of my digitised collection) and found i have just under 9000 titles and i would consider my collection quiet substantial, myself, im glad that the itunes version is going to just use versions on their servers instead of having me upload everything, that is going to be a major bonus for me and is probably why i will stay there (as well as the portability that i am provided with that being linked to my phone)

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