Apple has announced that its content-syncing service iCloud is now live. iCloud is designed like a mobile hard drive on your web browser that automatically syncs data on mobile devices and tablets with data on your home or office computer. The service is especially useful for those preparing presentations and projects while on the go.
The new beta is available to anyone with an Apple ID, and includes Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone, and iWork applications. Apple’s cloud music services are not presently available. While the iCloud is similar to MobileMe in concept, the addition of iWork (the Apple equivalent to Microsoft Office) should prove to be extremely useful.
The interface is fairly homogeneous to MobileMe and retains the simplistic Apple template. iCloud will be competing with Amazon’s much cheaper Cloud Drive which allows 20 GB for $20 and is more musically focused.
iCloud is free for the first 5 GB of storage. Most will opt for the free service considering that they will not be storing music on iCloud. The free beta should prove to be popular among iPhone, iPad, and Apple computer enthusiasts looking to become more organized.
Time will tell, but I think cloud computing is going to be the eventual replacement for flash drives. It’s an exciting concept that whatever you are working on can be easily accessed again for reference on another device. The bad news is, the excuse of “I left my paper on marketing research analysis at home” will no longer be acceptable when my professor tells me to pull it up on my iPhone’s cloud connection. E-mailing documents to myself is starting to get a little old, too. As with any beta, though, the best improvements are yet to come for Apple’s iCloud.
The information in this post came from an external article on Mashable.
I’ve been hearing a lot about incredible technology advancements recently. From visors and contact lenses that can be connected to the Internet as displays, nano particles that attack cancer cells and more. Now, 3D and augmented reality has taken a gigantic leap forward with head-tracking technology.
The French Grenoble Informatics Laboratory just uploaded a preview video demonstration of their new iPad and iPhone app that uses the front camera to track your head position. Based on the calculations taken by the camera the images on the display can change creating what they call “a glasses-free monocular 3-D display.”
It works on principles similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, but instead of tracking your entire body the camera senses your head’s movement on a more finite scale. Nintendo is working on a similar feature, though this development is certainly going to steal their thunder. The HoloToy app also produces similar effects, though it uses the accelerometer and not the camera.
For you avid readers out there, Google has launched its new eBookstore. After a brief period browsing the page, here’s what I’ve come away with.
The pricing for the eBooks on Google mirrors what you’d see on your Kindle, iPad, or any other eReader you have. New releases and best sellers range from $10 to $15, with slashed prices for less popular or older titles.
The collection of free titles is abundant and easy to access. Within seconds of loading Google eBooks for the first time, I was reading Chapter 1 of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. All you need to access the titles is a functional web browser, which you most likely possess if you’re reading this blog post.
Launching a book in your browser, you’re able to adjust font, font size, and line spacing as you read. Each book has a Contents section that lets you jump around easily. It’s not mentioned whether taking notes or highlighting text is available. From what I gathered, it’s not yet a feature Google Books offers.
Whether the book is paid or free, diving into its pages for the first time places that title in a “My Google eBooks” page, which saves the book for later use. The page you were last on is bookmarked for your return, as well.
Google boasts that it has the largest collection of eBooks around (of which nearly 3 million are free), and there is unlimited storage space for all of your titles.
It’s my recommendation that you start out by browsing the “Best of the free” section on the Google bookstore home page. You’ll find a huge variety of authors, including Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, Twain, and Melville. Have fun, but remember to keep stretching yourself creatively as well. As Einstein once said, “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
On the business side, Google’s bookstore appears to be competing with Amazon’s Kindle. Downloading an eBook on Google lets you read the title on Android, Apple, PC, Barnes & Noble, and Sony platforms, but it does not appear that a Google-purchased book can be read on Kindle. This reaffirms that Amazon is on an isolated, albeit sizable, island in the eReader community.
Okay, please forgive the title but it’s Jon Stewart’s word not mine. Last night Stewart made some very serious points about how Apple, the underdog, with throngs of loyalist techie fanboys, is committing a terrible public relations/social media blunder by the way they’re treating Gawker/Gizmodo and it’s editor Jason Chen.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Microsoft was supposed to be the evil one, but now you guys are busting down doors in Palo Alto while Commandant Gates is ridding the world of mosquitoes,” says Stewart. He lays out the case better than I can. I’ll just let him tell it.