Cloud

Apple cloud vs. Google cloud: The philosophical differences

Google and Apple are taking fundamentally different approaches to cloud computing. It's important to understand the differences. Here's a quick summary.

At the end of TechRepublic's live commentary of the Apple WWDC keynote on Monday, after Apple had unveiled iCloud, I had a conversation with the participants in our live chat in which I explained that Apple's cloud was a "store and forward" cloud as opposed to an "All your base are belong to us" cloud. Goofy Internet memes and technical jargon aside, that's a pretty good description of the difference between the Apple cloud and the Google cloud -- even though I was half-joking at the time.

Let's look closer.

The Google cloud

Google's entire strategy and approach to the cloud is based on the future, and not the Internet as it is today. Google is betting that the world will have low-cost, ubiquitous Internet access in the not-too-distant future, including fiber connections in offices and homes and super-fast mobile broadband in virtually every nook and cranny of the planet.

It is building its cloud for that world, and it's hoping that by the time it has its application stack refined and running like clockwork that broadband will be everywhere. That's absolutely necessary, since all of Google's apps are connection-dependent and all of the data is stored on Google's servers in the cloud. You've got to be online to take advantage of many of the best features, like simultaneous editing of Google Docs where you can see your co-workers' edits happening in real time.

I love Google's optimism about the future of broadband, but it's not going to magically happen on its own solely based on free market forces. There are too many places where it's just not financially profitable to deploy high speed access -- and probably never will be. In order for Google's vision to come to light, there will need to be more competition in the big markets and much stronger public-private partnerships in the smaller markets.

Google has started talking about making critical apps available offline, especially for Chromebooks. The company has already taken a few baby steps in that direction with Google Gears. However, the fact that offline access is an afterthought and not an intrinsic component of Google's solution tells you where offline and local syncing rank on the company's priority list.

The Apple cloud

Apple's approach is not to use the cloud as the computer-in-the-sky the runs all the cool stuff. It doesn't want or need everything to happen in the cloud. Instead, it views the cloud as the conductor of Grand Central Station who makes sure all of the trains run on time and that they make it to the right destinations.

With iCloud, announced on Monday at WWDC 2011, Apple uses the cloud to orchestrate data streams rather than control them. This is the cloud as a central repository for apps, music, media, documents, messages, photos, backups, settings, and more. A decade ago, both Apple and Microsoft talked up idea of the Mac and the PC, respectively, as the central hub of our digital life and work, with a variety of devices relying on it to coordinate content. On Monday, Apple clearly stated that's no longer the case. For it, iCloud is now the hub.

"We are going to demote the PC to just be a device," Steve Jobs said.

In this way, Apple is taking an approach unlike Google (which essentially mimics the old mainframe approach). Instead, Apple is doing something similar to what the popular startup Dropbox does. It is allowing users to sync their personal data and media purchases from their computers and mobile devices up to a personalized central repository. Then, that central repository on the Internet syncs all of the data and media files back down to all of the user's devices, so that all of them have the same data. Users no longer have to worry about constantly managing their files and music libraries in order to keep them up-to-date across a bunch of different machines and devices - a computer, a tablet, and a smartphone, for example.

Geeks, technophiles, and IT pros tend to love this approach because they still control their own data and have local copies of everything. However, syncing can also get a little complicated, especially if you choose to not automatically sync all of your devices (to save on performance and bandwidth). It remains to be seen whether mainstream users and business professionals will grasp the syncing concept and easily make it work.

Still, Apple's approach is probably more practical for the Internet as it exists today. But, in a world with ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband, will syncing still matter in 5-10 years? That will depend on whether users prefer to have local copies of their data for performance, security, and peace of mind.

Naturally, there have been heated debates about Apple iCloud in social media since WWDC. The most poignant comment I saw came from Lessien on Twitter, who said, "In Apple's vision, the cloud makes native apps better. Others see the cloud as a substitute for native apps."

Final analysis

All that said, let me try to boil this down into two sentences that shouldn't surprise you. For Google, the Web is the center of the universe. For Apple, your device is the center of the universe.

Can they both be right?

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

200 comments
DisasterArea03
DisasterArea03

I can see the benefits of both sides. As a techie that uses Mac at home, Linux for work and Windows for random tasks, I can see the benefits of having a web-based cloud that is platform independent. There's nothing like working on something on my Mac and then heading over to my Linux machine, only to find out that there is no Linux port of the software available. Granted, it's not your everyday tasks that have this problem. But a universal Word editor wouldn't hurt either. Libre Office is great, but doesn't understand all of the Microsoft formatting... and vice-versa. So many times one of my coworkers will inadvertently corrupt a document that needs to be restored from a backup that may or may not exist. Now, before anyone says "learn how to use the right tools", or "stick with a standard", I'll say: That's not the point. On the other hand, having local files that sync, similar to Dropbox or what I understand iCloud to be, would be tremendously powerful when on the road or when you don't have immediate access to the internet. I don't always like to work on live documents that others can edit at the same time. In fact, I never like to do that. Making my changes and having them sync is perfect in that regard. Which one would I use down the road? Probably both. Not iCloud, simply because it's not Linux compatible, but similar technology. I don't think any one will necessarily come out on top, but they will have their different uses amongst different users/companies. This is, of course, my own take on it, and I don't demand that others follow in my footsteps.

thegeekdiddy
thegeekdiddy

There is something fundamentally wrong when you assume people will use the same hardware for the same purposes. I do not own an iPod or an iPhone. Neither device would be practical as a developer. Nothing could replace my quad core toshiba satellie. Apple is trying to have it there way by not supporting hardware but their own. I'm sorry they do not get broadband in the rural areas, but that does not negate my need for a web-based cloud. Of course google's philosophy is better by nature in that web based clouds offers more options, better value for money paid into subscriptions, and a better range of products. How much can iTunes really do on an iPad? I do not care how good it run audio and video, I have a tv for that. I do not care how much better the touch technology is, I need a keyboard. Apple devices are just toys so their philosophy cannot hold any weight against google's. PC's and linux can be tools and operate on a philosophy of making it affordable for everyone. If apple had there way, they would work the chinese peasants to death in order to put an iPhone in the hands of every american. They can just buy an HTC phone I guess. Apple products are just toys, plain and simple. Geekwire stated the 6 of the top 10 downloads were games such as oldschool blocks and skee-ball. A few of the top 10 downloads for android were barcode scanner, ASTRO file manager, amazon music, pandora radio, and kindle. A mindset that produces a toy, or the mindset that produces tools. Which do you think will have the best philosophy??

pranaytechrepub
pranaytechrepub

I'll go with Google,as everybody knows google's products are best.

pptech
pptech

First of all kudos to Jason for writing an accurate article. I don't see this as a pro Apple article at all so I don't really understand all of the Apple hate in the comments. I love reading these comments. They are often riddled with blanket statements and bad grammer. I am a tech professional but the majority of my friends are not. People want to buy a product and have it fulfill their expectations. Apple has mastered the art of this. Yes their products are typically more expensive if all you're looking at is the hardware. PC techs are obsessed with specifications. There is so much more that goes into the computing experience than merely specs. The average Mac user is more concerned with "Will this new computer help me be more productive" than "Will this computer have better specs than my friends" Some people stay up all night tweaking the skin on their media player so it looks cooler than their friends. Some people stay up all night coding a new application or writing a song, or editing a video. Yes you can do these things on either platform. One is just better at getting out of your way and letting you do what you do and not expecting you to be a tech. Regarding Google vs Apple. It's silly to compare. They both share a common goal which is to mobilize users and cater to the small business. Microsoft has officially lost the small business customer because of Apple and Google's attention to this market. Microsoft cannot innovate like Google and Apple because they are too big. It's design by committee up there in Redmond. All they can do now is hope to imitate and retain as much of their existing market share as possible.

Manubennett
Manubennett

With the two clouds operating like a) the brain (pc) which gathers thoughts & b) thoughts (apple) which are gathered inside the brain. Surely the answer lies in channeling the two into one. Or is that something only God can figure out? I suppose he's not a capitalist... or PC... and he did warn us about apples.

BedNarz
BedNarz

Personally, I see the move by Apple as being a rush to catch up with offerings like Dropbox or Ubuntu One. Essentially, the aforementioned technologies have taken the USB stick drive out of your pocket and put it in the cloud...big deal...it's slower access (for now) only as reliable as your connection to the internet, and you have to pay ongoing fees for storage. Google, has done the same thing, with the notable exception that you (currently) have to make a conscious effort to move your files to and from your "cloud drive". The advantage that Google provides is a suite of applications that allow you work on your documents from anywhere, not just miDevice. So, a college student wakes up at her boyfriends apartment, borrows his computer, starts her term paper on Google Docs. Goes to the computer lab at school, continues working. Borrows a roommates computer to wrap it up at home that night. Technically, she doesn't even need her own computer to take advantage of the technology. An iUser with a computer in the shop wouldn't be able to pull this off without a thumb drive and access to compatible software on every computer she borrows. Google really just needs local versions of the document software (in the event of down connection) and (maybe) a folder that synchronizes to be that much farther ahead of the game. The fact that the doc formats are all compatible with already existing software just makes it a little less urgent.

vperera5248
vperera5248

"For Google, the web is the center of the universe" So isn't that what cloud computing really is??? For Apple your APPLE device is the center of the universe, not your device...your analysis of icloud is a joke. It's advantages also apply to google's cloud. Google cloud services don't force you into accessing and using the cloud in one defined way. It's your stuff, so should you be able to do what you want with it. Instead of only using it sparingly? If icloud was rolled out by "John Doe's Computer Company", ppl would laugh. I'd wish we get writers who actually use products avidly instead of reading about them. Instead of trying to sound balanced, make solid and reasonable judgements about technology services. Get out there and use those products Jason.

fiosdave
fiosdave

Check out Asus's free cloud storage and Microsoft's Skydrive. I particularly like the ability to take a picture with my WP7 smartphone and have it immediately sent to Skydrive, where it is now accessible to anyone I choose. Unfortunately, as cloud storage becomes more popular, the black hats will have a field day. I AM a bit nervous, having my 500+ entry address book somewhere in the cloud...

attila2
attila2

For both Google & Apple (to say nothing of Micro$oft & other IT vendors) the USA (or possibly Europe) is the centre of the universe. Many parts of the third world do not have ANY internet and patchy cellphone reception. Ok, the market is tiny, but it's still a market. Personally, until connectivity is 100% reliable, I prefer Apple's "client server" approach - when the net is up - great! and data is backed up; when it's down (as Skype was recently), life and computing can go on.

AdvChaser
AdvChaser

If you can't make a strong argument using the facts, baffle with BS! google - "Google???s apps are connection-dependent and all of the data is stored on Google???s servers in the cloud" apple - icloud "as a central repository for apps, music, media, documents, messages, photos, backups, settings, and more" Come on, can you actually say with a straight face that those two are somehow different? Do you really thing your subscribers are totally gullible? The only real, true difference between the two is that Google supports all comers and Apple only just barely tolerates anything other than iApple products.

masar
masar

Google's approach is of a control freak like MS. They want to control and monitor every single mouse click. In my opinion Google will reach a stage where they will be broken up like AT&T in courts.

raelayne
raelayne

Of course the Apple approach appeals to IT folks (the hardware /network types), because it means they keep their jobs. Application folks? PC junkies, yes indeed. Distributed types, especially those who've in their careers had to pull data from everywhere in realtime to do the job, not so much. The real difference is that Google is looking to large organizations, which are ultra-connected, and suffering under the huge cost of distributed applications and data; Apple is focused on end consumers. Like Dropbox, which I kind of love and kind of hate because of its "replicate the universe and force everyone into buying storage" architecture (try sharing more than one dropbox and see what happens), Apple will push its consumers and devices to consume and replicate more and more. Cost per device? Astronomical overall, but just a little bit overly-extravagant for each person. End consumers won't understand what hit them, and Apple will make a killing. It's brilliant. Google? It will quietly become the IBM of the Internet, no big press, but it will be profitable as well.

kblack1a
kblack1a

I guess I'm a little paranoid, but I don't feel comfortable with gong back to main frame computing, most especially off site. That's what we're talking about, local dumb terminal and central processing. The Google paradigm more so and the Apple a little less. I'm aware of the up sides like auto/ updates/ patch's/ lower cost of pay as you go apps/ backups/ I can go on and on. The unsettling concept is I feel like I'm looking at a lot of IT jobs going the way of check out clerks. (self check out) When the corporate world sees a chance of getting rid of more workers they will in the time it takes for a CPU to process one op code. Another point is loss of control of data. The feds love it when there is a pile of data that is controlled by a 2nd party. Have you heard of the patriot act. Don't act like you know all the points of that law because even the congress that voted it in was not allowed to know all the points of that law. (Top Secret even to the congress) Then where is this cloud located? It will be a lot less expensive to have a server farm in India then in the USA. Now we have jobs. data, security all in Asia. Wow just like all the rest of our jobs. The only ones left in the USA are the ego centric CEO's and market mangers.

JPElectron
JPElectron

I don't care for this "could for everything" approach. I don't want to be tied to the Internet to reach "my" stuff, work or personal. Regardless of any security concerns, what happens when someone else decides for me, that I can no longer have content X, when it's stored in the cloud they can simply remove it at thier discression. Think of the nightmare that is currently YouTube rights violation - poof, video gone. This also happened awhile back with an eBook via Amazon, they just went in and removed it. This happens all the time with "apps" on mobile devices - someone doesn't like it, or it suddenly becomes against policy - poof, gone. ...I don't have any of these problems with stuff installed and run locally. The one exception, which I have embraced and like, is e-mail as a service (in the cloud such as Google Apps, hotmail, countless others). Reason being that since I need the Internet to function before I can get e-mail, I don't care that if Internet is down I can't reach my email - I can still be productive and do other work, cause all other applications are run internally.

5n4r35
5n4r35

Apple method is very good for people transitioning to the cloud. People today will never be 100% reliant on the cloud. Google has great products and is doing stuff that allows us to see what is possible with the cloud. (And its awesome!) But because of people hesitance in move to the cloud I think Apple stuck nice balance. iCloud does everything that is needed of the cloud without making you dependent on it. Once people move to the cloud and get used to it. Things will move more to Google's way.

ecapaldi
ecapaldi

Apple is all about owning you, ever read the book ICON..looks like ICLOUD is just another con to own you. Apple's mindset is brix and mortars whereas Google's is pure play web based. Apple is great at dressing things up and no doubt lots of people won't think twice about their offerings, but they should. I'm not a Google fan but every day i realise that they have the right vision and the ability to make things happen, so Google cloud it is. Although Amazon adn Microsoft also have interesting solutions...depends on whetehr or not the client realy knows wht he/ she realy wants. My bet is that as with all technical decisions the requirements are seldom clearly thought out and the service provider then is perceived as 'evil'

boikanyo.geo
boikanyo.geo

Laws of the Telecosm - one of the laws of the telecosm states that storage will rule provided certain conditions prevail. Another states that the power in the copper, exponentially, will make the network to prevail as the basis for technological advancement or better yet, as a basis for information transport and storage. Are they both right? Yes. perhaps a naive answer, but true IF: 1. They were one company in the future 2. Apple would end up running Android (you can laugh out loud now) 3. iTunes & iCloud would end up as GMAIL storage 1+2+3 = 10 = Today, they are not, but tomorrow they could be!

frankh57
frankh57

I have never been keen on the mainframe plan of operation. You have greater control if you are the parent company, but as a worker bee, the take it with you even when you go up the Snake River for trout fishing application is the ideal way. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet is NOT ubiquitous and likely will never be as there are too many places on the world (and, one day, beyond) where the population will never sustain the cost of a link to the net. Of course, if the folks who lead us to the teleporter and FTL invent some method to reliably communicate over distances measured in parsecs, maybe... but, even then you still have to deal with excessive lag time.

briantaylor
briantaylor

Data security is obviously the biggest issue. So far, it has probably been the biggest drag on cloud adaptation and trend observation in this area has given no reason to be optimistic. It's rather pathetic that a story such as this should have to be published in June of 2011, given the duration and gravity of this problem: http://www.infosecurity-us.com/view/18568/enterprises-face-security-lapses-in-the-cloud/ Another significant problem is lack of (user) control - or, perhaps more accurately, the user's surrender of control (read, CAPTIVITY). What happens when your cloud service provider goes out of business, decides to change their pricing terms, or discontinues a service due to lack of profitability? If you've ever tried a Google app and liked it, only to have Google abandon it without warning you have some small idea what I'm talking about. And because the profitability model(s) for cloud services are still very shaky, I think this particular ground will remain unstable for the near to mid term. You'd better have plan B in place. Performance, reliability, availability, customizability: Not there yet. Plenty of horror stories abound - but are we listening? "So what?" - i.e., the compelling value proposition: In some niches, perhaps. But all of the issues above represent costs and if you take them into account when you're running your numbers (which the service providers never do), it might be harder to make the case than it appears in their rosy-hued "white papers". The cloud is the Wild West - but is there gold in them thar hills? Hitch up your covered wagon and set out if you must, but you might find that the only ones who profit are the folks selling picks and pans...and, of course, the prostitutes and those pesky highway robbers who can steal everything you've got from the comfort of a loft in Siberia. And what's worse, the town ain't got no sheriff.

husnain120
husnain120

Gettin fast internet dat to wireless is not really possible in all the parts of the world rather it would be better if the work done is synchronised widout compromisin security moreover places wid n/w of same provider but from diff cells is somtimes really irritating so at times in utter need of som doc u may not hav the net connections workin at dat speeds so dat u can hav ur doc edited and downlowded in realtime

stesha
stesha

The hazards of google open data mining vs the closed approach of apple through itunes and approved apps are equal to me. These are just different ways to obtain profit. What i fail to understand is why apple had such lousy cloud services in thepast and what was the reason they didn't catch up with others before? I suspect apple missed a fundamental understanding of what importance cloud services would have, and that their device oriented position stems from that, nothing else. As far as cloud service is concerns my vote goes to google.

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

Regardless if it is Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. All the hype is essentially over "WHO" you want to host your data for your "myriad" of devices that you are unable to control for yourselves. The concept of the cloud should scare anyone with a functioning brain. The implications for identity theft, loss of personal privacy, and "Heaven Forbid" inability to access your "data??? if you forget to "pay the monthly bill". The ???Cloud??? is a financial model, Forgot to mention that didn't THEY! Just like if you forget to pay the cable bill. Suddenly when you try to access your kids pictures on your ???handheld???, no photos of "little Johnny or Mary", no spreadsheets for work, no homework for school, important presentations, etc. What ALL of the players is missing in this latest "battle of the bands" is that the problem isn't so much "the Cloud". The BIGGEST problem is the lack of a comprehensive high speed highly availability Internet (both in urban and rural areas). Another big problem is the lack of a solid portable cross platform OS that is easy to use, maintain, and install, and a cohesive strategy for future innovations (no not MICROSOFT???s idea of INNOVATION = MONOPOLY) that is most importantly low cost and has a future evolutionary path. This is true in many areas including 3D, of which I was involved for over a decade. Everyone in the industry seems to have the "not invented here" syndrome! That???s why 3D will not make it this round (the hardware and software are there, the standards aren???t. Ask congressman Weiner about the importance of keeping personal information PERSONAL! The Cloud from his (and perhaps others perspective) becomes more of a curse than a blessing. Question, do you REALLY want your ???clubbing pics??? out there for the world to see??? How about you???re other personal communications? Financial Data, Personal communications? Granted, it would make life easier for law enforcement and getting ???undesirable elements??? off the streets, but what happens when WE become the undesirables? In my HUMBLE OPINION, the word???.NO should come to mind rather quickly. Just a few thoughts!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Why does Google's approach require 100% all-over-the-globe broadband? Why wouldn't it be enough for them to have, say, 90% of people covered, for 90% of those people's movement pattern? After all, most likely the battery life limitations will keep people from using their devices for about 10% of their long-distance movement paths...

tbostwick
tbostwick

Internet acivity = down, Chromebook = useless end of story

tbostwick
tbostwick

Same could be said of Droid - Google is working hard to present their world (all the Google apps) best in the Droid world. Linux who??? still out there but fading now, unless there's a Linux smartphone out there somewhere - not a factor at all.

tbostwick
tbostwick

Some will use it and some won't and as for the folks who are anti-Mac, and seeing the sillyness of Windows 8 - many more Win-users may jump to OS X sooner rather than later. Folks want simplistic, intuitive and solid-state - and Mac/Apple delivers all the time. and we're going from $99 to FREE - so who would really complain. the comparison to Dropbox is fair and I would have concerns dropping this data all around the world on PC's, just the same as my iCloud data. For many though, this will revolutionize storage and backup options for many a normal (non-techie) user who won't care what's proprietary or not.

cosmos-420man
cosmos-420man

Apple, has always been the trendy and stylish marketeers in the mix, and Microsoft has been known for their software and their ingenuity. Well, as for Apple and Google, on a funner more light-sided scale 0f approach, Google has hit the mark for productivity-oriented people in business and Apple obviously coined the more hi-tech and graphical look along with their Titanium Theme. And, of course Google's theme stay's the same in a slightly more sketchy do-over of their whole apps and online-collaboration scheme. I think that we are in-store for something new here. The two differing variations in these technologies for the cloud are very thought provoking in the sense that people whole just want to stay connected through-and-through can, and will be-able to support an online grid infrastructure computing model that works from virtually anywhere. Plus, wi-fi hotspots and communication towers are becoming a lot more prevalent these days. And as for Apple, well they have the chance to integrate the Unix Apple Darwin system platforms onto a whole new level of correspondence and distribution. Like parsay, let's say a graphic design team joins forces with a pr firm's headquarters and the ceo of marketing and sales. You can see that working, right? All this while your fellow Googlers are out on the streets collecting relevant media and insightful information from the masses. It's like a design for show, and you know, and then let information go, quick pro quo. So, why doesn't Apple and Google and Microsoft create some extended compatibility with their partnering/ competitor companies and get this whole multi-collaborative marketing tool show on the road? It's all because of @Common_sense_pr

rmarton
rmarton

I prefer that my data, whether its, music, pics, documents or whatever be in MY possesion/ control not up in some ICloud!

pogrady
pogrady

Any good technical implementation does not cut it with device dependence. That is long gone. A central repository, device independent, is the way to go.

greggwon
greggwon

Apple's cloud is about exchanging data. It's about developers having a unified sync interface that will allow them to write apps that share data between all of your devices without having to design, secure and maintain a cloud themselves. That means that the vertical markets will be even more specialized and that simple software can continue to be developed to provide real solutions. It may be that behind the scenes all Apple is using is WEBDAV or something similar with JSON and that in the future, because of corporate needs, they'll allow developers and thus users to control the server used. It's hard for me to understand all the hatred. I think people are just short on facts and experience to understand that what Apple is doing, is solving real problems for developers so that they can provide real solutions to users so that users will be interested in buying Apple devices. For me, that is customer focus! Microsoft, in particular has recently said that they are going to focus a lot more energy on developers, so perhaps even they see how Apple's path to developer assistance (the changes in XCode for iOS-5 are going to make massive improvements in productivity I think), is really helping make the Apple platform attractive to users because of what developers can do with it.

Alan
Alan

I am afraid that in the apple world they again can and will have access to all our data and apps. They will, as they do now on the phones, edit them to only apple approved content.... Hmmmm not for me. But Google depends on connections. I think not at least today. I am optimistic that it will happen if they can nurse it along, that is the strength of the Google team. I welcome the coming of the cloud but hope the cloud moves fast and does not rain on our data parade. I have already stored several TB of data in the cloud and hope it stays up there.

briantaylor
briantaylor

Jobs might (with his typical arrogance, if not his proven lack of peripheral vision) think he's going to "demote" the PC to a dumb access "device", but not mine! I think most of us are - and always will be - "blended" computer users for whom there are some things we do for which cloud-based apps/services might be appropriate (even *most* appropriate) and others for which they are not - and probably never will be. Right now, for instance, I have some media work to do in Photoshop, Sony Vegas and Camtasia (along with some others). Then I'm going to pump that into Visual Communicator to produce a "show". The notion of doing this work "in the cloud" is not only insanely laughable, it doesn't even bear thinking about even with high-speed access (and I work a lot of places where there might never be such access in my lifetime). So, let's demote the millions of PC's, with all of their enormous processing horsepower, storage capabilities and all of their software capabilities, to terminals? Let's put all of that offline activity online? Let's reduce the millions of applications available to a relative handful that are hamstrung by bandwidth considerations? What we're talking about here is essentially throwing away literally $hundreds of billions of investment in the PC (as computer, not terminal!) platform. If you can show me how any of that makes the slightest bit of sense EITHER from an economic or practical standpoint, I'll eat your dirty old hunting cap...and I won't ask for ketchup. And now, let's talk security in the cloud, shall we?....Anyone?....Oh dear, why the deafening silence? Can anyone imagine what's going to happen to your "choice" of applications? (Think cable TV packages...) What we need to get straight is that for those who sing the "cloud computing anthem", it's nothing more or less than a bu$ine$$ model, and as such it's about the money...it's NOT about you and NOT about me, or whether cloud computing is really the best way to meet our real-world computing needs. As such, they're going to find themselves forever pounding square pegs into round holes. And speaking of holes, as far as I'm concerned they can go pound their cloud computing...but I shouldn't go there..

MWatch
MWatch

Most of the stuff i have i won't want in the sync scheme. Some I'll want on the Apple server as a backup but not on my phone (thousands of carefully scanned family photos, copy of my will, insurance photos) want those on NAS in the basement and iCloud as backup not pushed everywhere. Some stuff I'll want pushed asap. If i end up grinding through data limits at ATT I'll need to be able to control 3G use. BTW you thing Apple is $$$$ hungry, the bandwidth suppliers are the absolute WORST all of them. They will not get any more of my cash than they currently get, if iCloud is Free and it cost me more at ATT - I WILL NOT USE IT|. How will it handle the fact that I have 3 times more music than my Touch can hold at one time. This has been a problem for years that i've manage to WORK around and i don't see anything that will change that. Lots of unanswered questions too soon to tell for iCloud. Google I can't even buy enough connection speed for that, just ain't avaliable where I am.

mbertone
mbertone

Used Gmail for years, it's ok, but it's just mail. Put a few photos to share on Google. Never anything personal that I might need someday. Apple design is a little better but both G & A are in this for $$$, don't be fooled with "free" of "cheap", someday when they have all your stuff, and you don't then $$$ access costs will go skyward...

Albert Myles
Albert Myles

Of the 2 I lean towards apple's approach. And have been doing it for a while using MS's LiveSync/Mesh/whatever the name is this year....... I have an iPad an iPod touch, a Windows 7 PC and laptop, and a Windows Phone 7 device. So I have already had to create a patchwork of things. Right now the MS stuff is good for me, but I will try out iCloud. I may like it. I use google for mail and some calendar. MS for syncing documents. I use iTunes for music. I have a bad feeling about trusting any one source for all my stuff.

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

Regardless if it is Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. All the hype is essentially over "WHO" you want to host your data for your "myriad" of devices that you are unable to control for yourselves. The concept of the cloud should scare anyone with a functioning brain. The implications for identity theft, loss of personal privacy, and "Heaven Forbid" inability to access "your data" if you forget to pay the "monthly bill". The Cloud is a financial model, forgot to mention that didn't THEY! Just like if you forget to pay the cable bill. Suddenly when you try to access your kids pictures on your handheld, no photos of "little Johnny or Mary", no spreadsheets for work, no homework for school, important presentations, etc. What ALL of the players is missing in this latest "battle of the bands" is that the problem isn't so much "the Cloud". The BIGGEST problem is the lack of a comprehensive high speed highly availability Internet (both in urban and rural areas). Another big problem is the lack of a solid portable cross platform OS that is easy to use, maintain, and install, and a cohesive strategy for future innovations (no not MICROSOFTs idea of INNOVATION = MONOPOLY) that is most importantly low cost and has a future evolutionary path. This is true in many areas including 3D, of which I was involved for over a decade. Everyone in the industry seems to have the "not invented here" syndrome! Thats why 3D will not make it this round (the hardware and software are there, the standards arent. Ask congressman Weiner about the importance of keeping personal information PERSONAL! The Cloud from his (and perhaps others perspective) becomes more of a curse than a blessing. Question, do you REALLY want your clubbing pics out there for the world to see??? How about you're other personal communications? Financial Data, or other private information? Surely this is not something for business, the IP rights of any company would be "easy pickings" for a competitor with a hacker on the payroll. Granted, it would make life easier for law enforcement and getting "undesirable elements" off the streets, but what happens if WE become the "undesirables"? BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING WITH BAITED BREATH! In my HUMBLE OPINION, the word.NO should come to mind rather quickly. Just a few thoughts!

idriss03ng
idriss03ng

If a computer can not work unless u have internet connection. It is not for us Africa. we still used classic connection. Remember to Check the gains and losses cloud computing may bring. I like Icloud but the world is more PC that Mac. Steve Jobs Should Make ICloud platform independent

seth.speirs
seth.speirs

...that the approaches match the relative positions of the two companies. Google is essentially a web-based company so they are going for an entirely web-based approach. Apple as a hardware manufacturer is more focussed on that element.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

I have been using very good products like dropbox,suguarsync.google cloud etc.across my devices and os's.The only difference it would seem as to the status quo apple can offer is, to take all these services away from my control and sell it back to me for a price.Presumably they will also sell my private data to advertising companies.Three years away is Microsoft offering which is believed to be based on a private cloud strategy yielding cash.Has Apple got there first? To me little value has been demonstrated by Apple they are just market followers of trends in the market.

Benvdlei
Benvdlei

I believe in a combination of both internet will be the data storage instead of local devices with a poweful local (little machine) for navogation like your mobile phone (tablet) the replacer of all the big and ugly PC's also less impact on the environment and scrap all other environmentally harmful materials used now. Our company develops a webapp ordering system called iPos in wich we use the power of working in the cloud with local power. with kind regards Ben van der Lei http://www.mobileposrestaurant.com

vibesindia
vibesindia

I would prefer the middle path, where users can store data files on local device, but in order to view and operate on it can use the Cloud. for e.g. I may have the .mpp or .mpt files on local device for security, need not buy the expensive MS Projects 2007 pack but log on to a Cloud to work upon my project plan.

pivert
pivert

I think both are right but for 50%: - superfast internet everywhere: YES (but ISP's are starting to charge for "extra" stuff) - in sync everywhere: YES (there will be cloudless days, planned or unplanned - PStation-network anyone?) So have my data/apps in the cloud as extra service but copy it in some form to local devices to be "independent".

ktserai
ktserai

this cloud thinng I think it came late now harddrives flash with epic storage are avaliable and affodable

ktserai
ktserai

price for flash memory haddrives is down so can safely save my files and get some backupsoftware to scnc if need be

jmackay2
jmackay2

I have been looking at Microsoft Office 365 and it seems to provide an even better solution than these two.

adornoe
adornoe

with what's happening in the "tech" world, because, when it comes to innovations, more of it is happening in Microsoft than Google or Apple or both of them combined. As an example, have you heard of Windows 8, and about WP7, and about Microsoft's cloud offerings? Have you heard about Microsoft's XBox and Kinect and about how those platforms are being supported? Haven't you heard about Skype and Microsoft's plans to integrate that application with all of it's platforms? Being big like Microsoft, is not a detriment to innovations, and in fact, it makes it much more of an innovation generating center than what you could find at Google or Apple. I love it that Google and Apple are trying to be creative and generating innovations left and right, but, why not look at reality and forget about your personal feelings or opinions regarding Microsoft? Size does matter, and a large corporation is not hindered by size. In fact, like I already stated, being huge allows them to undertake a lot more ventures into a lot of research and innovative ideas. Being big also allows them the luxury of being able to fail in some innovations or products, but, when they do get something right, it more than pays for the failures.

OkeyM
OkeyM

I tried the google apps but gave up on them because of the over dependence on net connectivity. Granted apple tries very hard to control it environment, but that is what makes it stable and reliable.

Aysgarth
Aysgarth

Battery = Flat, Notebook = Useless, iPad = Useless, etc. Electricity = Off, Desktop = Useless Number of times my Internet has not worked in the last five years when I wanted to use it ..... 0

tom235711
tom235711

Android is based on the Linux kernel