iPhone 4S and iCloud

You can’t swing a dead cat on the Internet today without banging into someone’s opinion about Apple’s announcements earlier today. I shared a few of my opinions on the Mac Roundtable#105 and MacCast podcasts. (There is no specific link to the MacCast show as I post this.)

In summary, there are two points in my mind relevant to all the hubub.

iPhone 4S

I think this is a fine update. The phone got faster, a better antenna, a better camera with more bazillion pixels and notable low light performance, and probably countless refinements that only come from cranking out millions of prior phones with this basic design for the past year.

Siri is also intrigueing. While I was initially obsessed with Siri on my iPhone, at some point I stopped using it and I’m not really sure why. Adam Christianson (in the above MacCast podcast) explaiend this time it will be different because Siri is now so integrated with the phone. I suspect he may be right.

I think the mainstream press makes too big a deal about there being a new body design. Manufacturing essentially the same external design for two years makes a lot of sense to me in terms of manufacturing and design costs. Moreover, I like the existing design and would prefer Apple not change it into the shape of a door stop just to be different. If you are already driving an iPhone 4, you are probably just fine. If you are still using an iPhone 3GS or earlier, it’s a great upgrade. If you’ve been waiting to buy an iPhone, now is the time. Welcome aboard.

iCloud

I think iCloud is a really big deal. I’ve written before about iGlue. I think Apple needs to nail this. Cloud based syncing and data services is the future and it is past time for Apple to prove they can deliver. For some reason, I just felt like they should have said more than, “Here comes iCloud and it’s awesome.” However, in hindsight, what should Apple have done? Shown the server schematics or provide the current bandwidth of each facility? I guess we just have to wait and see how things go next week.

Even with Apple’s billions, I can’t imagine there won’t be hiccups as they move forward with this iCloud initiative. I’m going to keep an open mind about it and reserve judgment for a few months.

If Apple makes it work, I think it will bring cloud syncing to a big group of people who have never used it before. Think of the non-geeks in your life and think about explaining to them the steps involved with setting up a Dropbox account, getting their files into a Dropbox folder and then transitioning those files to their iPad with a Dropbox app.

iCloud throws all that out. Work on a file on the Mac and then pick up where you left off on your iPad. If it works, it will be awesome. It is not much longer until we find out.

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