If you haven’t updated to iOS5 yet, it’s time to start. Not only will you have the fantastic Siri voice assistant, you’re also going to have access to all of your information from anywhere, as long as you have some sort of iDevice handy.
Manufacturers have been telling us that same line for years, though. But this time, it’s actually true. There really is something here. If you have a Mac computer, you can synch files, documents, photos, music, video and more to the Cloud, then use them from your iPhone. To really wrap your head around this idea, think about snapping a photo of your pug while you’re at the dog park. You go home, and you’re killing time on Facebook, when you remember that you have that photo of Sir Winston that you want to share. Instead of grabbing your phone and uploading it from there (which, let’s face it, isn’t great since Facebook’s mobile app isn’t stellar), just open your files. It’s there waiting for you.
Small miracles aside, the iCloud will also be incredibly powerful because it can automatically sync your iCal events to your phone and your Mac. The technology is perfect for everyone, of course, but busy professionals on the go and students are going to get the most use out of this. Of course, those studying for their online degrees and working at the same time will get even more mileage out of it. The busier you are, the less time you have to write down your dentist appointment on your home and work calendars and then save it on your phone and computer. With iCal syncing, you can just put it down once and use your phone and computer to keep track of your life.
iTunes Match is also exciting for music lovers. The program will allow you to sync music that you’ve downloaded on other devices from the iTunes store. It does save you a lot of time trying to save your music in different formats to switch them over, but it’s going to cost you $25 per year. The real benefit here is that iTunes will let you download songs that you’ve ripped from a (friend’s) cd or music that you have from any other source because it sees that you have that song in your library. If you download a lot of music and want the freedom to listen to it anywhere, it will be worth it. If you’re only a casual listener and don’t think it’s a sin to listen to Pandora at work instead of your own selections, save the money and don’t bother with it.
You’ll get virtually no benefit out of the Cloud unless you have multiple Apple products. Without them, you basically have another version of Dropbox. Nice and convenient, but more than a little underwhelming. If you do use a Mac at work or home and you’ve got an iPhone, the Cloud is the next logical step for you. It takes separate devices and turns them into a suite of Apple products that lets you flow from one to the next without losing time keeping up with your data.