As it stands, iCloud is no Dropbox. Apple's cloud service is about data storage, not file storage - a subtle yet key difference that takes a longer-term view when we go beyond file names but look instead at the metadata stored within.
Dropbox sees this too, and has already released APIs to help apps tie directly into the services and make it more than an online file folder. There are lots of apps that don't support Dropbox this way, and there will be plenty that don't support iCloud's store-and-sync space, either.
But such will be the Apple service's graviational pull - millions of iDevice and Mac users will sign up at the off, this coming autumn - that developers will inevitably shift toward it. Many will support both - plenty will start with iCloud.
Broad developer support will be essential for iCloud to realise its potential and become so much more than an online music locker.
Verdict Potential Hail
At last, no more cables. You'll still need to fire up your computer to transfer files back and forth, even if you do it over Wi-Fi rather than a cable. Maybe this is where Apple's rumoured Time Capsule Nas box refresh will help out, as an always on local media store.
Either way, OS 5 marks the first big step away from Apple's iTunes software, an app - especially in its Windows form - rather a lot of users dislike.
Syncing is small part of the shift - being able to activate and use an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without having to connect then to a computer is a leap forward for the platform - and for Apple's coffers. With no computer connectivity, device owners are far more likely to acquire content from Apple than from other sources. Automatic over-the-air firmware updates will ensure more people keep their handsets up to date, easing Apple's scope to deprecate old versions.
Next page: iOS 5
Reg, you've missed the point. The messaging service is integrated so sending SMS or using Apple iMessage is not a choice users need to think about. There is one messaging centre, so when sending a message to a friend with an iPhone, the message is transported using Apple's protocol, when messaging a friend on a non iOS phone, SMS is used. It's difficult to see how this can be a fail, it will simply be used when it's appropriate. Users aren't going to neglect to use it. It won't whither and die. Indeed it is seamlessly integrated with the only universal messaging service available across all mobile devices - SMS.
All this x copied y...
Most of these companies have been working on features for a long time and in parallel.
And also, while I'm on the subject, why is there is the consistent tendency for commenters to misunderstand the difference between invention and innovation (not OhFFS who I'm replying to I should say)?
Innovation is about being active in bring together new products and services and combinations of features to market and is not simply the sum of inventions. There is relatively little new invented in the world. Apple bringing the iPad to market was innovation, not invention, the ideas that went into it had been around for years. So the criticism "it wasn't new,.. Nokia, or Microsoft, or Palm did x, y or z" wholly misses the point.
As does all this point scoring with x invented y that we see in these comment forums. Apple were innovative with the introduction of the iPhone, Google have since been innovative with many features of Android. We all stand on the shoulders of inventors and innovators who have gone before us. Copying isn't bad - it's a good thing when it's a good idea. The only "crime" is if X copies Y, who has a really great implementation, but then X does it worse despite having the good implementation as an example.
Recognising innovation when it occurs is a strength (and we should all be prepared to recognise innovation whenever it occurs). So yes Apple did some great innovation with touch interfaces, and Google have done some of their own, and copying isn't bad per se, unless it's done badly.
Engaging in point scoring about who invented what is usually just being childish.
Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest.
Hmm. If it's really true that iMessage combines SMS and an Apple-only protocol, this hardly can fail. The carriers of course will hate that. Why isn't something like that integrated with Android? Ah, yes, the carriers. Say what you want about Apple but they have the balls to stick it to the carriers now and then.
And having some (limited to iOS users) texting capabilities on iPod touches and WiFi-iPads is better than nothing. The kids will love that, especially since it's free.
You realise, of course (I know you do, you must, no-one could be this dumb), that this article is about iOS, which is 4 years old. Of course, perhaps you mean to leave disparaging comments about 10.7 instead, only that one would be 10 years old.
The only OS that I can find released 7 years ago is Pocket RISC OS...
Still, thanks for the chuckle.
... but for the fact that they are still selling the 3GS (just checked the Apple UK site) so they better support it !