iCloud Vs. MobileMe, is there any difference?
With hype surrounding cloud-based services at an all-time high, Apple has officially announced the release of the highly-anticipated iCloud. While many were thrilled to hear about the new development, Apple’s decision to shutter its MobileMe service, in favor of a more efficient and capable cloud platform, left some Mac users concerned about the future of their data and mobile services. Nevertheless, the technology company has stated that the transition should be seamless, as the new service includes many of the great benefits previously provided by MobileMe. All of which begs the question: Is Apple’s newest system any different than MobileMe?
MobileMe first became available to Mac users in January of 2000, as a subscription service that provided, among other things, an email address @mac.com. Following the release of the iPhone 3G in 2008, the service was rebranded as MobileMe, and became available to users across the operating system spectrum. One of the many features MobileMe provides includes the popular “Find My iPhone” function, that allows users to locate their mobile device via the internal GPS tracking dot. The service also offers remote storage options, and the ability to publish websites through iLife.
Apple’s announcement of its new cloud-based services means that MobileMe will be shelved, as the company’s focus shifts towards providing storage options and contact management to a larger swath of tech consumers. Though the service will no longer be available, many of the great functions MobileMe provided will be available through the new cloud platform. In fact, the new service even offers features that MobileMe users were previously unable to access.
Mail synchronisation, contact management, and Find My iPhone will all be available to MobileMe users who choose to migrate their data to the new service. Documents in the Cloud, iTunes in the Cloud, and Photo Stream are further benefits that will be available to all iCloud users. In spite of all of these great features, however, MobileMe users will lose some features previously available to them. Individuals who previously synced system preferences and applications with MobileMe will no longer be able to do so. Furthermore, iCloud does not offer an email address, nor the ability to publish web sites.
As Apple’s cloud offering gains clout in the technology world, many other companies that already provide cloud-based service have been catapulted to the spotlight. Many of these companies provide similar functionalities as those provided by Apple. Furthermore, their immediate availability is of particular interest to those who’d like to begin utilizing such services immediately.
Amazon CloudDrive vs. iCloud
One of the biggest companies to announce cloud-based services is Amazon. Better known for its massive online shopping destination, Amazon has begun expanding itself into the technology market in recent years, with such developments as the Kindle eReader. The Amazon CloudDrive is a major competitor of the Apple cloud platform, and is already available to consumers.
Just like the Apple’s new system, the Amazon CloudDrive offers 5 GB of free storage to all users, with additional storage available at the cost of $1 per GB, per year. Pricing for additional storage on the iCloud is not yet available. The iCloud offers a music-streaming application that allows users to play the audio files in their digital database, and is available on any device that supports Adobe Flash. While the Apple cloud system is available to both Mac, iOS5 and Windows users, however, functionality is limited for those using Windows.
- Both provide 5 GB of free storage and the option to upgrade for additional storage.
- Amazon CloudDrive is available for all devices that support Adobe Flash; iCloud offers fully functionality only for iOS 5 devices and Mac users
- Amazon CloudDrive is managed through a browser-based protocol, whereas the iCloud syncs with applications in the background.
Google vs. iCloud
Google has also released its own offering in the world of cloud-based services. Unlike the Amazon CloudDrive and the iCloud, Google offers different storage quotas for each area of storage available. For example, users can store up to 1 GB each of Google Documents and Picasa files. 7 GB of general storage are offered free of charge, and additional storage up to 16 TB can be purchased. The Google Music Beta allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs from their personal libraries.
- Offers 7 GB of general storage, and 1 GB each for Google Documents and Picasa files; iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage.
- The Google cloud can be accessed by any device with a web browser; Full-functionality for the iCloud is only offered to iOS 5 and Mac users.
- The Google Music Beta allows up to 20,000 songs to be uploaded; Apple iCloud offers immediate storage of all iTunes purchases, and the ability to match existing music in the cloud for a fee.
Dropbox vs. iCloud
Finally, Dropbox is another popular cloud service that has gained popularity in the past year. Dropbox offers a desktop client that can sync files with the server, or it can be managed through a web browser. Dropbox offers 2 GB of free storage, and also has a music player for audio files uploaded to the cloud. Further storage space can be purchased, for a fee.
- Dropbox offers 2 GB of free storage; iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage.
- Dropbox operates through a desktop client or a web browser; iCloud acts invisibly in the background.
- Dropbox offers a music player for uploaded audio files; iCloud automatically syncs purchased music to the cloud.
Web users have many different storage options available to them. Whether they prefer options like Amazon CloudDrive and Dropbox that act as digital storage lockers, or are looking for a service like the iCloud that invisibly syncs content as it is created or purchased is a matter of personal preference. One thing important to remember is that it can be difficult to keep all of your files organized and keep contact management under control.
One great service that allows such management is the critically acclaimed Scrubly service. This service removes duplicate files from your many different contacts and address books, allowing freelancers to be more productive and organized. Another great feature Scrubly offers is the ability to fix formating errors in contact information.
Regardless of your specific cloud needs, the plethora of options means finding something that works for you should be a piece of cake. Armed with a contact management service like Scrubly, and a cloud service that keeps your files safe and sound, you’re ready to conquer productivity in one fell swoop. Cloud services help keep you better organized and more productive, making them a freelancer’s dream.