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Apple Event – June 2011

Clouds
The annual Apple worldwide developer conference opening keynote drew a crowd of 5,200. It would have been much larger if the auditorium had the capacity. The extraordinary video is a “must see” if you are interested in either the Apple products or the marketing that surrounds them. The two-hour video is an exemplary model for how to communicate. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them. Not a new idea, but executed by the Apple executive team with incredible precision, enthusiasm, and clarity. They also added an important element to the classic three-element communications model. Demo it to them. You get the feeling that the executive team knows exactly what they are talking about and are passionate about it.
Next month we get to see Lion and I for one can’t wait. It sounds like Apple is really listening to what customers want. For the iOS 5 update, we will have to wait until “the Fall”, but it also has a large number of exciting features. The big one is integration with iCloud. The immediate question many people have is what does iCloud mean for Dropbox? There are many unanswered questions. Google, Apple, and Amazon are at war to win our hearts, minds, and bits for their clouds. Some will say that iCloud is a makeover of MobileMe but I believe it is much more than that. iCloud will be continuously streaming billions of bits to all of our Apple devices — songs, photos, emails, web page and reading material bookmarks, calendar updates and reminders, contact information, tweets, and much more. While Google, Apple, and Amazon will strive to get our more and more of our loyalty, there are many parts of our digital lives that they don’t touch.
Every Saturday morning, I update my Quicken data on the MacBook at the kitchen counter. After I close Quicken, the file is immediately updated at dropbox.com. A bit later, I head into my office and access Quicken on the iMac. All the data is there, updated and ready to use. The same file is also on the iPhone and iPad and a handful of ThinkPads that are scattered around the house. Cloud computing does not mean putting everything in the cloud instead of on your computer — it means putting data in the cloud so that it can be replicated to all your devices. Your data is no longer where you PC is — your data is where you are. Some photo afficianados will prefer to use Picasa instead of iPhoto. Some will use Google Docs instead of Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Some will use Amazon for their music. For me it will be Pandora. I plan to try iCloud as soon as possible and will surely use it for my purchased music, probably for photos, and probably not for documents. Definietely not for Quicken and various specialized files like my web site content, GPS data, etc.. All the boards I serve on distribute materials via pdf files. When I receive those by email I detach them to dropbox.com folders. I then synchronize Goodreader with dropbox on the iPad so that all the pdfs are local on the iPad for use at board meetings. I am enthusiastic about iCloud but I do not see it taking over my digital life, at least not yet.