Feeds

Apple plays cloud catch-up

May delay iOS 5 to ensure it can compete

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Apple may be untouchable in tablets and hard to beat for mobile user experience, but it will prove more vulnerable as the focus of innovation moves to the cloud.

Cupertino's offering here is a mess, with a collection of non-harmonised services such as MobileMe. It will need to do a lot of work to fend off Google, as well as the companies that have lagged behind in mobile apps and devices but which are now looking to the cloud for a second chance at glory (HP with its webOS is a particular worry).

And that's not to mention Amazon, which has stolen a march even on Google with its recent moves to make itself the premier content and apps supplier on Android. Now the online retail giant is creating an end-to-end cloud media platform designed to ensure that iTunes does not achieve the position in the web-based world that it has in the download era.

Late release for iOS5?

Apple is reported to be rising to the challenge by completely reworking iOS for the cloud/browser environment, as well as bringing it closer to the Mac platform (the upcoming new OSX release, Lion, borrows heavily from iOS). This could come at the cost of delaying the next release of the mobile operating system until the autumn. iOS 5 may well still be announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on 6 to 10 June in San Francisco, but it might not be released for a further few months.

The strategy would be logical. Recent iOS updates have been incremental, and the platform, for all its strengths, is under greater pressure than it has been before, from Android in terms of broad appeal, and from WP7 in terms of innovative experiences. Further challenges could come from the rise of a new breed of mobile OS, a stripped-down browser/OS geared primarily to web services and the cloud, as epitomised by HP's webOS or Google's Chrome OS.

According to "solid sources" cited by the TechCrunch blog, Apple could launch several cloud-based services to work with the new OS, including a "music locker" and a location service for tracking family and friends. The vendor has already hinted at extending its MobileMe service to become a music storage and streaming platform.

Amazon's cloud music

But it will be in the unfamiliar position of having been outmanoeuvred by another firm, in this case Amazon. While Google and Apple fight it out, the retailer is coming up behind them, avoiding the platform politics (for now) and focusing on taking the lead in mobile services. It has announced Amazon Cloud Drive and Player, a music storage and streaming offering that has pipped both the smartphone leaders to the post.

Both Google and Apple are expected to announce cloud music offerings this year, but Amazon has got there first, allowing users to store and access their tracks from any Android handset or tablet, as well as PCs and Macs. The Cloud Drive provides up to 5GB of free online storage and comes with an accompanying Cloud Player. Users can receive a further 20GB if they buy an album from the MP3 store, or they can purchase a storage plan which starts at $20 a year.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard
Cat 5e and Cat 6 are bottlenecks for WLAN access points
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.