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As Some iCloud Product Details Are Revealed, Questions Remain

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06:  Attendees walk b...

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In a break from typical Apple style, the California-based company has pre-announced some details of its new cloud service, iCloud. Apple plans to reveal product details at its Worldwide Developer Conference. In addition, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, taking a break from his medical leave, will provide details on two existing operating systems, iOS5 and MAC OS x 10.7 or Lion. Cloud-based services are quickly becoming a big part of the world of technology, but Apple has not been strong in this particular area. Industry insiders generally agree that Apple needs to compete effectively with cloud technology in the same way the company does with software and hardware.

Apple confirmed deals with four major music companies. Apple is expected to emphasize these partnerships and the overall value of an ecosystem featuring widespread industry support. This provides a noted advantage of competing services offering by Amazon and Google. Anonymous sources suggest the cost will be $25 per year. Industry analysts expect iCloud to allow users the ability to store music from their existing iTunes libraries on Apple servers and then access these music files by streaming from Mac OS X, iOS and possibly Windows. Users will eventually be able to do the same with video files.

Additional features include generic file storage, an updated online calendar with more flexibility, an updated version of MobileMe email, comprehensive file synchronization and backup and revised photo sharing capabilities. Apple is rumored to be preparing an undated version of its Time Capsule wireless router and related backup device. This is supposedly to be ready for expected increased file management capabilities. Wire file synchronization has not been confirmed, but is likely given Google's habit of taking shots at iPhone's reliance on tethered USB synchronization when extolling the virtues of their Android devices.

An online preview shows some details of the company's Lion update. Lion and iOS are shown converging in the preview. The Launchpad feature borrows from existing technology used on Apple's iPad interface to quickly launch applications. Lion will likely be distributed via the company's Mac App Store. Another expected Lion feature is a resume feature to allow users to suspend execution of operations that can be resumed later without changing their state at the point they were suspended. Other anticipated additions include updated mail features and additional wireless fire distribution capabilities spanning multiple devices.

Not much is known about iOS 5. It is likely that some Lion features will be integrated into iOS 5 and iCloud. File manipulation to and from iOS devices remains challenging. It is not known yet if Apple plans to correct this, but easier file transfer would please several customers. Anticipated iOS 5 features can make Apple competitive with many favorite Android features. These include rumored updates offering additional support for smaller applications, known as widgets, revamped notification system and the ability to distribute data via multiple devices using the same account. Apple is said to be working on a joint project with Nuance, a speech recognition company. The move is expected to offer an alternative to Android's Speech Input API.

Apple may address issues with its social game infrastructure, Game Center. Developers have been seeking additional features such as built-in messaging, improved multi-player support and game-state synchronization. Eyes will also be on Apple's presentation to see how the company will address patent infringement lawsuits filed against Apple developers API. Industry experts believe In-App Purchase API increases vulnerability to lawsuits, posting comments discussing the issue on Apple's private bug database. Security concerns are also expected to be addressed as several companies consider merging part of the IT operations to cloud-based services.

E. J. Peach is a freelance blog writer and blogs for the erptraining.net website. It's a non profits blog site she uses to publish her experience to help people learn SAP ERP and supplies the most up-to-date iphone solar charger reviews.

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