The big news at Apple WWDC 2011 today will be Steve Jobs delivering the message, and the message being iCloud.
MacOS 10.7 and iOS 5 are important elements, too, of course. In fact, without them it's likely that the iCloud announcements wouldn't be possible. Those operating systems will enable some of the best of iCloud. But the newsmaker today and this week will be iCloud, something that I talked about in this blog back on May 9th, May 18th, and June 1st.
It's widely believed that Apple now has deals in place with all four of the major U.S.record labels and that this will make it possible for iCloud users to that content to mobile devices. If Apple can manage it, now or in the near future, that functionality will extend to video content like television shows and movies. This content is already available on the iTunes store, but licensing to allow streaming is not a given. There are also some practical barriers such as network capacity for the larger video media elements. Will carrier networks be up to the task, or will this be initially a WiFi only capability? And if and when carriers allow it, will our restrictive AT&T and Verizon data plans be sufficient to view anything but a few small clips?
What else will iCloud include? Some possibilities in the rumor mill include subsuming MobileMe capabilities such as file synchronization across devices, user data backups (with a possible assist from Time Machine software and Time Capsule hardware), file sharing and collaboration in the style of Dropbox, advanced location services, and more.
RapidGroove will check in again on Wednesday to discuss the WWDC announcements, and then turn attention to other tech in the blogs to come.
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