Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Releases iCloud and Newsstand Feature

With the unexpected and sad passing of Steve Jobs, Apple's original genius, there's been a lot of speculation about what will happen next and how Apple will continue. It's clear that Jobs was no dummy so my guess is he had many plans in place for the company to carry on without him. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an email to Apple employees: "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple." The Apple machine will, no doubt, chug on.

Which brings us to the launch of the iCloud. Operating on the same principles as other cloud computing services, iCloud will be a free download for Apple users, which automatically stores user content to the cloud; enabling users to access content across any iOS platform.

The iCloud coincides with the release of the iOS 5 mobile operating system, which includes Newsstand, a virtual bookshelf that displays users’ subscriptions with the latest issues of magazine titles. Each of your chosen titles are updated automatically so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art of your favourite mags.

Newsstand will work in tandem with Apple's subscription model, announced back in March, which allows publishers to sell subscriptions through the App Store for a 30 percent cut of each sub purchased. (Apple keeps the user data automatically unless users choose to share with publishers.) Conde Nast and Hearst are among the publishers that have signed on to sell subscriptions through the App Store.  

According to a press release from Apple, "with iOS 5 and iCloud, you just enter your Apple ID and password and iCloud will seamlessly integrate with your apps to automatically and wirelessly keep all of your mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer."

For those still dubious about Apple's future, consider that only five days after Jobs' passing, pre-orders of the iPhone® 4S topped one million in 24 hours, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4. If that's not an ode to Jobs, I don't know what is. 

--- Colleen Seto
AMPA Blogger-in-Residence