July 3, 2012
Apple Offers More iCloud Love To PC Users
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
As Apple prepares their latest iCloud, iOS and Mountain Lion offerings ahead of their respective launches, some small details are being leaked about future features found within these operating systems.
Acting as the new digital hub, Apple is expanding the scope of iCloud, allowing it to keep even more of our information in sync between our desktop and mobile devices. For instance, developers have found evidence that iCloud could keep Calendars, Notes and Reminders up-to-date on desktops via their web version of iCloud at iCloud.com.
While iCloud already handles this data on mobile devices, keeping iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches in sync with one another, adding this functionality to the desktop expands the coverage to Macs running older versions of OS X and PCs.
According to MacRumors.com, these leaks were first found in May, suggesting Apple would be rolling out these services to their iCloud web portal.
Now, a beta version of the web portal is available for developers only at beta.iCloud.com. Screen shots found at MacRumors.com show beta tags on the icons for Calendar, Notes, Reminders and even Find My iPhone. An icon for iWork also appears, a service which is being rolled into iCloud. While Notes and Reminders are being baked into Mountain Lion, this is the first time they´ve been seen in the iCloud web portal.
Find My Phone has been a part of iCloud from the beginning, offering users a bit of security if their iOS devices go missing. The new, beta version of Find My iPhone, however, has been polished a bit, displaying a new battery icon along with the device in question.
Now, those who have lost or had their devices stolen know how much longer they have to lock the device, play a sound to locate it, or even remotely wipe the device.
The beta version of Notes on the iCloud web portal remains true to the iPad version, complete with skeuomorphic yellow notepad and leather-ish side left pocket. When a user creates, deletes or edits a note in the web portal, the changes are reflected almost instantly on their mobile devices.
The beta version of Calendars on iCloud.com looks the same as it always has, though MacRumors does note that Reminders has been removed to its own app.
Apple´s latest and greatest to roll out this year will offer significant support for iCloud as the always-on backup and central hub for iOS devices and Mountain Lion. While iPad and iPhone users are already accustomed to several of these features, such as Reminders, Mountain Lion will bring these features natively to many Macs.
Mountain Lion also adopts several other iOS features, such as Air Play, Dictation, Messages, Notification Center and Sharing.
Mountain Lion is expected to launch sometime this month.
When iCloud first rolled out last year, there was some confusion about how it worked and what it worked with. For instance, Apple bragged about its ability to keep documents in the cloud, giving users the power to work on a Pages document on their Mac and pick it up on their iPad. This functionality never came to these devices as Apple had promised, though these new iCloud and Mountain Lion advancements should finally make this kind of seamless office available. iOS 6 is expected to launch this fall, likely a few days ahead of the new iPhone.