LG Joins The Cloud
April 30, 2012

LG Joins The Cloud

Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, Google and Microsoft will soon be facing some new competition. LG has announced it will launch the beta of its new cloud offering tomorrow, and they´re calling it “LG Cloud.”

Like Apple´s iCloud, the new service will be designed to work on “three screens:” Smartphones, tablets and televisions.

The service will allow users to stream video and photos stored in LG Cloud to each of these devices.

Rather than having the service baked into the operating software like Apple´s iCloud, LG smartphone and tablet users must first download the LG Cloud app from Google Play, Android's newly named app store. To access the cloud on a LG branded TV, users must visit the LG Smartworld store from LG Smart TVs. To access the cloud from a PC, LG has set up a webpage at LGCloud.com. Once the application has been downloaded, LG Cloud will automatically sync each of these devices together.

One way LG plans to separate its cloud offering from Apple's is in their use of “Real-time Streaming Transcoding technology.”

According to the press release, “The conversion happens on the server in real-time, not on the device. There is no need to worry about installing codecs or converters, everything happens seamlessly and in the background with no involvement from the user. No other cloud service can make this same claim.”

Another way this new offering is different than Apple´s is its ability to sync and share 3D content between these devices. 3D video shot with a capable LG smartphone can then be viewed on a 3D capable LG Smart TV.

LG Home Entertainment president and CEO Havis Kwon said in a statement today, “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content.” He added, “tomorrow´s consumers don´t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files.”

Users who sign up for LG Cloud will receive 5GB of storage for free. Those who have recently purchased an LG Smartphone or LG Smart TV are eligible to receive up to 50GB of free storage for up to 6 months. Like other cloud solutions, LG will have paid options for those users who want more than 5GB of storage, though these prices have yet to be revealed.

LG´s announcement is further proof of the migration to the cloud. Last week, both Microsoft and Google joined Amazon and Apple in offering cloud solutions. Microsoft announced SkyDrive, designed to sync and offer remote file access for Windows users on PCs and Macs, Android, iOS, and Windows phones. Google´s Drive offers the same support on the same devices. Microsoft´s SkyDrive starts with a free 7GB worth of storage, while Google´s Drive and Apple´s iCloud begin at 5GB of free storage, with paid upgrades available to each. Before any of these options became available, Dropbox gave its users the same functionality at the same price. It´s popularity has no doubt driven these larger companies to create deeply integrated cloud options for their users.