Apple iCloud: An iOS user's wish list

Next week Apple will unveil iCloud, and hopefully at least some of my predictions (wishes) will come true.

The iCloud has gone from rumor, to speculation, to confirmed service. Now we just need the details. What will it do? How much will it cost? Just how magical will it be? Well, I don't have any privileged insight, but here are my predictions (a.k.a. "wish list") for what to expect from the iCloud.

First, it seems obvious at this point that the iCloud will at least offer some sort of online music storage and/or streaming. It doesn't take a Nostradamus to "predict" that at this point--it would almost be like "predicting" that the Green Bay Packers will win Super Bowl XLV.

Some of the rumors and speculation about how iCloud music will work, though, sound interesting. I have not yet dabbled with the Google Music service, but I am a semi-avid user of the Amazon Cloud Music service. I appreciate having access to my music collection from virtually anywhere, and virtually any Web-connected device, but so far that only really applies to the music I have purchased from Amazon since it started pushing the cloud music service. I have more than 60GB of music on my hard drive that isn't available in the cloud. I could upload it, but it will take days (maybe weeks) to get that much data transferred to Amazon.

Rumor has it, though, that Apple will solve this problem. Apple's iCloud will scan my PC to figure out what music I own, then just magically populate my iCloud with those same songs and save me the hassle of uploading them. Awesome. It is genius in its simplicity. I know what songs I have. You know what songs I have. You already have them on your servers, so why should I have to upload them?

My single biggest wish for iCloud is that Apple finally cuts the cord for updating my iOS devices. This is 2011. This is supposed to be the "post-PC" era, right Steve? Why do I have to tether my iPhone or iPad to my PC to get the latest iOS updates and keep it synced--especially when the white USB cable that comes with the iPhone and iPad sucks? It cracks. The wires fray. I'd say it was a fluke, but I own five of them and it has happened on every one of them.

While we're at it, though, don't just free my iOS devices from my PC--free them from iTunes. iTunes is an abomination. It is the single least intuitive, least magical thing ever to come out of Apple. It is a shame that awesome devices like the iPhone and iPad are shackled to such crappy software.

iCloud should let me seamlessly sync and update my iPhone and iPad over the air and on the go. No wires. No iTunes. Cut the cord, and let my people...I mean iOS devices..go! That's the kind of "magic" I'm looking for.

Apple has already pulled back the curtain and revealed what's on the agenda for next week's WWDC--Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference where it reveals the new magic for the coming year like Willy Wonka taking kids on tour through the chocolate factory. In fact, it literally created an agenda as an iOS app. So, we know that the iCloud will be unveiled, and we even know when. Now, we just have to wait to find out what it's all about and see if my wishes...I mean predictions...come true.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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