Feeds

Apple plays cloud catch-up

May delay iOS 5 to ensure it can compete

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.