Apple puts iCloud at the heart of its OS at last
Next month's developer conference will major on cloud media services for the new iOS 6, along with Siri and maps
Published: 14 May, 2012
The main focus of Apple's upcoming developer conference, WWDC, is set to be iCloud, as the company finally gets serious about taking on Amazon in networked, multi-device content services.
This had been a weakness for Apple, as it defended the download models which have served iTunes so well, even as rivals moved more quickly towards cloud content. But new CEO Tim Cook has put iCloud at the heart of the strategy, claiming 125m customers have signed up for it since it was launched last April.
According to Wall Street Journal sources, Apple will add new photo and video syncing options to iCloud, including the ability to share and comment on photo albums even outside Photostream. Currently, this just allows images to be synched across Apple devices and PCs. And video syncing will be added to the mix, with a Photostream-like service supporting the Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
These improvements should be part of iOS 6, which will be previewed at the event. Another key change is expected to be a further distancing of Apple from Google web services, with the vendor debuting its long awaited mobile mapping offering to replace Google Maps entirely for the first time, and with support for 3D map views.
Siri, the voice activated personal assistant, will be another highlight, with APIs being released for developers as well as an iPad version.
Another hot rumor for WWDC, as shared by the 9to5mac blog, is that Apple will unveil a new MacBook with a RetinaDisplay and flash memory, running on Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors. The product is expected to be ultrathin, at about 0.95-inches, and though Apple would never admit it, geared to fend off the rising wave of launches of slim notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook format.