So now that Apple have launched iCloud, I am going to explore whether it can actually assist businesses to become more productive or is it simply a tool for individuals.
So what is iCloud?
iCloud is a hosted storage service that works by storing your music, ebooks, documents, apps, photos, contacts, calendar entries and email and synchronising them all to multiple computers and mobile devices. To enable this service you need an Apple ID, which for those of you familiar with iTunes will all ready have for downloading music and apps.
As Steve Jobs mentioned at the launch “it just works”. Once all the devices and computers are connected; any changes are simply updated immediately.
Great for those familiar with Apple’s products and services and used to the iTunes interface and managing apps on an iPhone.
If you buy a song or take a picture on one device, it instantly downloads to all other ones, without wires.
You get a free me.com email address which can be used to keep your contacts, email and calendar in sync.
One thing I did notice is that there is no professional accounting, invoicing, customer relationship management, ,project, help-desk and business planning software .
Only works with Apple’s own applications (iTunes, iPages, iPhoto,) and apple mobile devices (iPhone and iPads); so if you own an Android, Blackberry or Windows phone or tablet; you are out of luck!
You have to sign up for a .me account so that email, calendar and contacts can be synchronised accross all devices and computers; so those businesses wanting to synchronise their company domain name will be left out.
If you want to synchronise documents, you have to purchase iPages for both your mac computer and mobile Apple device.
Considering the amount of people who use Apple products in the workplace, iCloud is likely to be an attractive offer, however until it can encompass real business applications and integrate with a company’s actual email domain, I feel Google for Work is a better option. For now I feel iCloud will probably be taken up by the individual user.