Apple, Google, and now Amazon - all tipped to be racing to offer their own "digital locker" services for users to store their digital media online and then stream it to mobile devices. According to CNET's sources, Amazon could announce a cloud-based storage system for music, video and ebook content as early as this week, despite not apparently having all the necessary licenses in place.
Google has reportedly begun internal testing of its new Google Music service, in a move which has led to speculation the streaming system is near to public launch. According to CNET's music industry sources, Google employees are dog-fooding Google Music amid ongoing negotiations that have already delayed two planned launch windows.
Apple is considering using its North Carolina data center - due to come online before the end of 2011 - for a voice interface and navigation service to take on Google Maps Navigation, according to the latest batch of theories from Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Detailed in a recent research note, reports AllThingsD, the service could use technology from early-2010 Apple acquisition Siri together with earlier acquisitions in mapping and public data sets, and potentially use crowd-sourced traffic data to intelligently modify calculated routes.
Apple failed to announce the cloud-streaming iTunes update we expected as part of broad-ranging MobileMe updates at its iPad 2 event earlier this week, concentrating instead on the updated tablet, iOS 4.3 and its new apps. According to new leaks, however, a deal is in the works to allow for more universal access to music from a single iTunes account on multiple devices, expected to reach fruition by midyear.
Iomega has launched its new Personal Cloud Technology system, complete with online access and of content stored on the company's network-connected 2011 external drive range. It's kicking off with the Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition, a pair of drives - one 1TB, one 2TB - which support gigabit ethernet and the contents of which can be quickly shared via the online interface.
After sixteen years of using portable computers, I'm more convinced than ever that cloud computing, especially cloud based storage, will save us all. It's not without problems and caveats, but I've been betrayed by storage solutions I thought were reliable, and I'm ready to bury the hard drive in favor of the great gigabyte in the sky.
Pinch of salt time, but MadDailyNews are reporting on an unconfirmed tip that Apple are considering making their MobileMe cloud-based synchronisation and backup service subscription-free. Currently priced at $99 per year, according to the unnamed source Apple's timescale is "sooner than later... [and] depends on certain facilities going operational."
Apple have released a MobileMe gallery app for the iPhone and iPod touch, that gives subscribers to their cloud storage and backup service easier access to their online galleries. The app - which is a free download from the App Store, but which obviously requires a MobileMe subscription in order to use - supports the usual pinch-zooming and swipe navigation on the iPhone, as well as basic offline browsing functionality.
We expected Mobile World Congress next month to be dominated by the Palm Pre, but Microsoft could be planning a few headline-grabbing announcements of their own. According to Neowin, three new Microsoft mobile services are slated for launch, together with the official unveil of Windows Mobile 6.5. They also suggest that the leaked GUI screenshots first spotted last November are authentic concept shots for the new WM6.5 honeycomb web start menu.