Whether we're ready or not, iCloud is poised to take over our digital lives. With the last remnants of Mobile Me officially dead and buried, Apple is launching iCloud onto the main stage with Mountain Lion and, once iOS 6 comes out, bringing tighter integration between our Macs and iOS devices, and promising immediate access to files, websites, media and just about anything else we need, right when we need it.
But while it may seem all rosy on the surface, some people might be a bit leery about sinking their teeth into Apple's data buffet. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the fledgling online service (besides that awful iCloud.com email address).
Apple vs. Google: the debate rages on, only amplified by the recent WWDC and ongoing Google I/O conferences. With the introduction of Apple’s iOS 6 and Android’s Jelly Bean 4.1, which showcased new products, improved features, and a few surprises, users are even more divided. It’s the Giants vs. Dodgers all over again. Both titans announced some pretty drastic changes to their products and operating systems, but will Google be able to kick Apple out of its top spot in the mobile sphere?
If you believe the rumor mill, Apple executives will address developers on Monday morning and update almost their entire product line in the space of less than two hours. To avoid disappointment, just keep repeating: “It’s only a keynote… it’s only a keynote… it’s only a keynote…”
Today, the best gaming experiences are found on big-screen TVs hooked up to gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, or on the displays of PCs tricked out with the latest and greatest graphics cards. That’s about to change, say the graphics gurus at Nvidia, who have announced a new server-based platform that will handle all the game-graphics heavy lifting up in the cloud, then send gaming goodness over the internet to your smart TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or whatever device your little heart desires, irrespective or what operating system that game was originally designed for.
Word on the street since even before iOS 5 was that Apple has been preparing to boot Google out of Maps. A flurry of cartography-related purchases, along with the decision to snub the search giant in iPhoto for iOS--not to mention a very public feud over Android--have all pointed to an inevitable in-house overhaul of the aging locator app.
The Web lit up yesterday with reports that Apple will be putting even more pressure on the so-called ultrabook market with a $799 MacBook Air, the first ready-to-use Mac priced that low since the days of the Indigo G3 iMac. It may sound unreasonable--given the source and Apple's penchant for profits--but this rumor's not as far-fetched as it seems (you know, assuming Apple ever updates its Macs again).
Few third-party productivity apps are as lauded as Evernote. If you're the type of person who insists upon always-synced organization of all your ideas and projects, the program is invaluable. But even as the Evernote desktop client stands high atop the pillar of productivity tools, its iOS app leaves something to be desired. If you're looking for an alternative, Springpad is probably the best bet.
I’ve previously used the 3G data on my first-generation iPad only when traveling, and instead relied on Wi-Fi--it saves me from paying a monthly charge if I cancel right away, then just use the month of data I paid for. To cancel, or just to check how much data you’re using, you have to sign in to your account in Settings > Cellular Data > View Account. (Make a keyboard shortcut for your email address in Settings > General > Keyboard to save some keystrokes logging in.)