There is an ongoing debate about when Apple will cut the cord, lift up iOS users to the cloud and why they have taken so long to do so. John Gruber – the king of independent Apple pundits – has a very thoughtful, hefty take on Apple’s cloud strategy: one step at a time. This is a must read analysis.
Gruber points out that Apple is “a generation ahead on the device side” compared to its competitors “but a generation behind on the cloud side.” So how will Apple get into the cloud?
He examines the four functions Apple must address:
- getting your stuff onto your new [iOS device]
- updating iOS
- backing up and restoring your [iOS device]
- device activation
He points out how the second-generation Apple TV already does two of the four with just a Wi-Fi connection to your broadband router: device activation [it works right out of the box] and software updates. Cutting the iTunes umbilical cord will…
be incremental, with new-device activation and software updates coming next. At that point, you’ll be able to use them without owning a PC. If you want to sync large libraries of music and video, you’ll still need a PC running iTunes.
He also gives a plug to the Dropbox method of document synchronization, about which I completely agree. It is an extremely useful app, which I personally use everyday.
And those third-party iOS developers that are depending upon Dropbox — there’s a veritable cottage industry of Dropbox text editors alone — have a far better syncing experience than Apple’s own creative apps.
The bottom line: Apple is moving slowly but surely toward moving to cloud. They just want to get it right. They didn’t just dive into the MP3 market, they waited for others to stumble and make mistakes while they perfected the iPod. They didn’t just dive in to the tablet market, either. They spent many years perfecting it. You could even argue that the iPod touch and even the iPhone were market tests for the iPad, the first computer for normal people.
Gruber nails it with this analysis. These are early days and Apple will make the post-PC era happen, one step at a time.
[via Daring Fireball]