For the most part, Apple is know for beautiful hardware and intricately designed software that work great together. The missing part of the Mac and iOS device equation, for the most part, has been web apps and services. Even though Apple has had online services with .Mac and MobileMe for years, they’ve never had a solid online approach to tie together their devices and services.
The iPhone was introduced in 2007 without the ability to run native apps. Instead, Apple encouraged developers to create mobile web apps for their new phone. Once native apps were released, developers turned mainly to non-Apple web services such as Dropbox and Google Apps to synchronize data and more. Apple’s $99/year MobileMe was largely seen as a failure, and few of us used it.
That’s all changed now, with Apple’s renewed focus on the cloud with iCloud. This upcoming service will give free access to MobileMe’s Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, sync your iOS devices through the cloud, and let you backup your iTunes music online so you’ll never lose it. It’s shaping up to be one of the more important services for iOS and Mac users, and will even be useful to PC users who want to re-download their purchased songs from iTunes.
So, what are your thoughts about iCloud? Are you excited about using it, or do you plan to continue using other services to keep you life in sync. Does Apple stand a chance in the cloud computing world? Will Apple be the first to bring Microsoft’s dream of “three screens and a cloud” to reality? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the poll and comments below.