Apple released a beta version of the iCloud web interface yesterday for developers to get caught up on the upcoming changes that'll be rolled out to the public this fall. Once logged in, users see beta tags on the Calendar and Find My iPhone app, as well as the addition of the Reminders and Notes apps as well, both in beta. Find My iPhone adds Lost Mode, as well as a battery life indicator for your device, and and we haven't yet found the differences in Calendar yet. Notes and Reminders both provide similar interfaces to what you find in the OS X Mountain Lion and iOS counterparts. Mail, Contacts, and iWork don't show any changes at this point.
Read More | iCloud beta
In an interview with MIT publication Technology Review, IBM CIO Jeanette Horan admitted that the company disables the use of Siri on employee iPhone smartphones. Why is that? Well, since anything spoken to Siri is sent and stored on Apple servers, the thinking is that employees may speak things that shouldn't be in the hands of anyone but IBM--and certainly not in the hands of one of its toughest competitors.
It's not just Siri that's not allowed. Cloud sharing tools like Dropbox and iCloud are also disabled, and employees aren't even allowed to forward internal IBM email message to external non-IBM addresses.
Read More | MIT Technology Review
Alongside all the Kindle news this morning, Amazon also announced their own home-grown browser, Silk. Amazon Silk will be exclusive to the Kindle Fire for the time being, and it aims to speed up web browsing by a significant margin by offloading some of the heavy lifting to the Amazon EC2 cloud servers. Hit the video above to see how it all works, and why we're drooling with anticipation for Silk to hit the desktop.
When users log in through the portal, and Apple will port their Mail, Contacts, and iCal information to iCloud. It also says that iWeb, iDisk, and Photo Gallery will be accessible until June 30, 2012. However, Dashboard widget sync, dock item sync, keychains, signatures, mail account rules, mail smart boxes, and mail preferences are among the features that are no longer available.
But if you're not a developer, you're going to have to wait a little longer to move your account. Users trying to to log in with a standard MobileMe account and was met with a page telling me "this account is not yet eligible."
I've long since stopped kvetching over the number of things Apple chief executive Steve Jobs can attach an "i" to and call his own. The maverick CEO's track record is just too darn good. Now that we know that Apple's iCloud is a real thing, there's no sense in wondering how Jobs can have the gall to rebrand cloud computing. I'd rather focus on what Apple will do with the cl...er... iCloud now that Apple has adopted it as its own.
Is Apple new to the cloud? If you accept that at the most fundamental level, cloud computing is simply a matter of thin clients (hardware or software) accessing Internet-based services and intelligence, then the answer is no. Consider Apple's reliance on streaming services for Apple TV's TV show and movie rentals, or the way genius playlists work.
iCloud, which Apple will officially unveil at next week's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), will be more, and streaming content is only the beginning. Obviously, we expect some sort of cloud-based, access-anywhere music library. Apple may even cave and offer a subscription-based music service. These plans will only succeed if Apple has done what Google failed to do with Google Music Beta: convince the major labels to let consumers store and access purchased (and rented) music from central servers.
I think music labels fear this not only because they worry about losing further control of the digital bits that make up their vast song libraries, but because no one will ever buy more than one copy of a song again, and if they get subscription access, they're done buying music—period.
This morning, Apple put out a press release letting the world know that they'll be showing off iOS 5, OS X Lion, and iCloud, their long-awaited cloud service/MobileMe revamp, next week at WWDC. Oddly enough, Apple only went as far as naming iCloud, and called it an "upcoming cloud services offering." Now, we aren't expecting them to go into full detail in a press release, but why even name it at all? We're guessing it's because Apple really wants to set the expectation that WWDC will be focusing on software, softening the blow that will inevitably come when the masses are complaining about the lack of an iPhone 5 hardware reveal. The press release lets us know Apple's WWDC intentions and plans, and sets the expectations accordingly.
WWDC kicks off in six days, and of course, we'll have details of all the announcements as they're made. By the way, the press release also confirms that the incomparable Steve Jobs will be taking the stage at WWDC.
Citing a "trusted" source that "works for a major educational institution," iLounge said that "the current version of MobileMe is no longer available, and that Apple is suggesting new students sign up for the 60-day trial to cover the gap between the final MobileMe shipment and the launch of the new version."
The report could have some truth to it. A 60-day free trial with the option to sign up for the paid service at its conclusion is available on MobileMe page on Apple's site. However, the option to sign up for the year-long paid service without first test-driving it for 60 days is not advertised.
iLounge said that Apple will only support the existing service for another year, to cover those who might have recently subscribed to MobileMe. This means the retooled version of MobileMe could be very different.