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Apple shows continued interest in expanded cloud data syncing

post #1 of 37
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Future mobile devices from Apple could sync and save large amounts of data over the Internet, allowing future access to information when an Internet connection is no longer available and removing the need to tether to a PC.

Apple's continued interest in expanding its cloud-based sync capabilities were demonstrate with a new patent application revealed this week, entitled "Configurable Offline Data Store." The invention, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 14, 2010, would synchronize data for offline use when an Internet connection is not available.

It describes a system that would allow users to access content from a remote computer or server, but also save that information locally for use when an Internet connection is not available. The application also notes that users may want to disable their Internet because constant syncing and updating may result in poor performance.

It describes individual applications that would be able to access this cloud-stored data, dubbed "savvy applications." These are distinguished from "non-savvy applications," which would not have access to the remote data.

The smart syncing system would predetermine which data might be "reasonably requested" when the two machines are reconnected, having it queued an ready to go immediately. The system would also allow for other "requested records," which would occur when changes are made to lesser-used files.

Current mobile devices from Apple like the iPhone have a number of options for users to sync basic data, such as iPhone contacts, with Internet-based services. But the company is also said to be interested in offering a cloud-based streaming service for purchased iTunes content, like music and movies.

But Apple's latest patent application would allow such data to be stored locally, and synced from anywhere with an Internet connection, rather than on a local network or via a USB cable.



Such a feature could also be used with Apple's App Store, where software downloads greater than 20MB in size are not allowed over cellular data networks. When on a 3G network, the client-side machine -- an iPhone or iPad -- could save an intended download for later, when it can be obtained over a Wi-Fi network.

For more on Apple's ambitions in the cloud, see other related patent applications published this year:

Apple aiming to improve syncing, sorting of cloud-based content

Apple investigating cloud-based media syncing, tagging on the go
post #2 of 37
If Apple is stumped as to what new features OSXI should have, this is it.

1) Incremental File System (ZFS, or another alternative)
2) OS Wide Online Data Sync
3) Offline Storage for when the internet is not available
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Future mobile devices from Apple could sync large amounts of data over the Internet, allowing access to information when an Internet connection is no longer available ...

Confused

If the net isn't available how do I sync over the net?
post #4 of 37
I really don’t like the way idevices are sync with itunes through a PC. They need to make the idevice independent from a PC itunes so we don’t have problems like wiping a device off because you sync it on a friend Pc. People could also have idevices without having a Pc at all.

The syncing from a particular PC with a particular itune account add lots of overhead that complicated things. Let us sync straight from the net when on wifi and free us from being link to a PC.

I mean full sync here, with software patch. Device backup could be done over the net (like let us have a few gigs with our itune accounts so we can make device backups on the net) If we could have our content data (songs, movies, ...) on the net, that would indeed complety free us from local PC and at the same time free us of files management. I hope there new data center in NC will help change there model.

What I like about "cloud" data is if they sell 10000 times the same song, they dont need to have that many copies of it on there data center they could have just one file and allow just the people who own it for syncing.
post #5 of 37
I don't see why this isn't already happening?
All they have to do is add programming into iTunes to create a list of all your content, store that file in the "Cloud" and offer playback of your content via 3G or WiFi via the internet. Seems like a simple way to listen to your content, for free over the cloud...
post #6 of 37
Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I don't see why this isn't already happening?
All they have to do is add programming into iTunes to create a list of all your content, store that file in the "Cloud" and offer playback of your content via 3G or WiFi via the internet. Seems like a simple way to listen to your content, for free over the cloud...


thats easier said than done. With the volume of clients they have they need one hell of a data center link to insane telecom lines. This is why they are building one and cant offer this until this is done.
post #8 of 37
Why, when you have the glorious "MobileME"?and charge people to do what Dropbox does?
Yes, MobileMe is great if you are 100% part of the Apple Ecosystem, or just own a MBP and iPhone/Pad/Touch. But to charge for what most sharing sites do for free is a little bit of a back-step to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.
post #9 of 37
At a cost i presume Plus this magical Apple cloud will be subject to the same crappy 3G or Wireless network lags you get anywhere else, unless Apple intents to scour the world with their own networks, with it's own bandwidths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

thats easier said than done. With the volume of clients they have they need one hell of a data center link to insane telecom lines. This is why they are building one and cant offer this until this is done.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

At a cost i presume

how exactly are dropbox making money btw? Nothing is free. Of course you need some kind of revenu from it. They could have an iAd business model that reduce the cost or a ad free service with some cost. They could also offer the first few gigs for free and charge for extra, like dropbox is doing.

For a complety net syncing of idevices your going to need more than a few gigs per itunes account.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.

yes. people would like to have access to data if network is down? what an idea!
novell should have kicked ass with ifolder but they let another one run into the ground and go nowhere. at least they open sourced it.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

Why, when you have the glorious "MobileME"?and charge people to do what Dropbox does?
Yes, MobileMe is great if you are 100% part of the Apple Ecosystem, or just own a MBP and iPhone/Pad/Touch. But to charge for what most sharing sites do for free is a little bit of a back-step to me.

I think you miss his point. I dont think hes suggesting Apple get rid of MobileMe in favour of Dropbox. MobileMe has many, many services and Dropbox is just storage like iDisk, but that is where the similarity ends. Its the way Dropbox works that is what makes it great. Apple has nothing like this.
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post #13 of 37
That may be the case. And yes, I understand Dropbox makes money in some way, either Ads or their paid version. Like social networking meets file storage in a way. I've only used that aspect of Dropbox, trading music/files or whatever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think you miss his point. I dont think hes suggesting Apple get rid of MobileMe in favour of Dropbox. MobileMe has many, many services and Dropbox is just storage like iDisk, but that is where the similarity ends. Its the way Dropbox works that is what makes it great. Apple has nothing like this.
post #14 of 37
It is not just Dropbox. Windows Live Sync (formerly mesh) does a better job than Mobile Me iDisk as well.
post #15 of 37
Wouldn't mind seeing Apple get into the Mozy Carbonite arena with online backups. I've had trouble with Mozy so I would welcome an iBackup, push button simple, integrated into the OS and just works.

Don't know how big their server farm is, if there is room to get into the backup business along with all the iTunes content they have to store.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

That may be the case. And yes, I understand Dropbox makes money in some way, either Ads or their paid version. Like social networking meets file storage in a way. I've only used that aspect of Dropbox, trading music/files or whatever.

Based on your initial reply you seem to think that the aspects of Db that make it so useful can't be added to MM. I'm not sure if it's Db tech or Amazon's S3 tech that makes it work the way it does, but Apple already uses a similar tech with Time Machine.

Apple isn't one to inplement tech in parts. They still want to do it all at once in some grand event so if they do plan to change the way iDisk works they may wait until this data center is fully operational before making the change.
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post #17 of 37
Honestly, i'm not sure where all these thoughts originated. I was responding to the notion that Apple should do a buy-out with Dropbox. Which, if they did that, they would probably make it a sole-pay element, or just envelope it into MobileMe. Which, we've already agreed that MobileMe does mostly what Dropbox does, sure you could add that tech to MobileMe and Apple would be better for it. I never said it couldn't be added. My argument is really based on the notion that current users of the virtually free-version of Dropbox, like me, would probably not continue the service is it wasn't free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Based on your initial reply you seem to think that the aspects of Db that make it so useful can't be added to MM. I'm not sure if it's Db tech or Amazon's S3 tech that makes it work the way it does, but Apple already uses a similar tech with Time Machine.

Apple isn't one to inplement tech in parts. They still want to do it all at once in some grand event so if they do plan to change the way iDisk works they may wait until this data center is fully operational before making the change.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.

Yes. I bought Dropbox to replicate the iDisk features I wanted except that they work reliably and fast.

If Apple are going to do more syncing then they need to find someone to teach them how to do it right.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Confused

If the net isn't available how do I sync over the net?

Bastard. I was just about to post the same question.
post #20 of 37
I'm not sure what all of the complaints are against MM. The server farm is going to be built and MM updates are not long coming as this article points out. As it stands now, I wouldn't go without it.

I mean, find my iphone, mail, Calender, contacts, bookmarks synch and MM backup. They all work well for me. Drop box isn't that impressive compared to MM. Do the naysayers have or ever had a MM account?

The biggest stop gap is the bandwidth issue. If we expect to backup all of our stuff forget it. I mean at least for me. Synching the current stuff I'm working on is great, but everything? Further I notice significant performance improvement on better internet service.

Finally, you can stream your music and videos from idisk. You better have a decent connection, but it works fine.

Just my opinion.
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post #21 of 37
Why can't they just keep a list of all purchases from iTunes like music, videos, apps, etc. and then just backup (sync) data, photos, email, etc. from the iDevice. They would then keep a list of what purchased items you keep on your device and they could restore a device by reloading the purchased items from itunes and the data from the backup. That way all you need to sync is the changes to data, photos, emails, etc. and not store the iFart app 10 million times in 10 million different users sync files.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Confused

If the net isn't available how do I sync over the net?

Your right, the way it is explained is confusing. I think the idea is that when you know you will not have access, such as prior to boarding a plane, you would download what you wanted into your device from the cloud.
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysturn View Post

Why can't they just keep a list of all purchases from iTunes like music, videos, apps, etc. and then just backup (sync) data, photos, email, etc. from the iDevice. They would then keep a list of what purchased items you keep on your device and they could restore a device by reloading the purchased items from itunes and the data from the backup. That way all you need to sync is the changes to data, photos, emails, etc. and not store the iFart app 10 million times in 10 million different users sync files.

That is how it works with App Store apps, with Dropbox, with Time Machine and many other modern storage systems.
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post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I'm not sure what all of the complaints are against MM. The server farm is going to be built and MM updates are not long coming as this article points out. As it stands now, I wouldn't go without it.

I mean, find my iphone, mail, Calender, contacts, bookmarks synch and MM backup. They all work well for me. Drop box isn't that impressive compared to MM. Do the naysayers have or ever had a MM account?

The biggest stop gap is the bandwidth issue. If we expect to backup all of our stuff forget it. I mean at least for me. Synching the current stuff I'm working on is great, but everything? Further I notice significant performance improvement on better internet service.

Finally, you can stream your music and videos from idisk. You better have a decent connection, but it works fine.

Just my opinion.

I agree, I love Mobile Me. My dream would be to have all my music and videos, and other data stored in the cloud. Then I could purchase as much as I wanted without taking up hard drive space on my computer. I would then download what I wanted into my various devices and have the ability to stream the rest as well. Without this ability the new apple tv is not that exciting because I still have to store everything on my laptop in order to stream to my apple tv. Having an improved ability to store in the cloud would make both the iphone and ipad more useful. No need to worry about storage space on your individual device. Download what you need and the stream the rest.
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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

I mean, find my iphone, mail, Calender, contacts, bookmarks synch and MM backup. They all work well for me. Drop box isn't that impressive compared to MM. Do the naysayers have or ever had a MM account?

What you are referring to is very different from what Dropbox offers. Any mention I make to MobileMe and Dropbox is really a comparison to iDisk and Dropbox as those are the two comparable services.

I use both. I use MobileMe for my push email, backups of all my important data, and Find My iPhone. For the money its worth the $80/year I pay for the Family Pack. But for file storage and sharing I dont use iDisk, I use Dropbox. Its better in every single way. I love that if a file is already on their servers it wont re-upload it, but will say its done almost instantly after it checks the file, even if I have changed the name of the file.
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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What you are referring to is very different from what Dropbox offers. Any mention I make to MobileMe and Dropbox is really a comparison to iDisk and Dropbox as those are the two comparable services.

I use both. I use MobileMe for my push email, backups of all my important data, and Find My iPhone. For the money its worth the $80/year I pay for the Family Pack. But for file storage and sharing I dont use iDisk, I use Dropbox. Its better in every single way. I love that if a file is already on their servers it wont re-upload it, but will say its done almost instantly after it checks the file, even if I have changed the name of the file.

Now that is the kind of response I like seeing. The whole naming scheme feature sounds great.I have a friend that was looking for a system that would support it. I'll let him know.
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmusikantow View Post

I agree, I love Mobile Me. My dream would be to have all my music and videos, and other data stored in the cloud. Then I could purchase as much as I wanted without taking up hard drive space on my computer. I would then download what I wanted into my various devices and have the ability to stream the rest as well. Without this ability the new apple tv is not that exciting because I still have to store everything on my laptop in order to stream to my apple tv. Having an improved ability to store in the cloud would make both the iphone and ipad more useful. No need to worry about storage space on your individual device. Download what you need and the stream the rest.

Yeah, I hope and think this is coming. It would be a huge disappointment if it didn't
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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.

Dropbox is only 90% of the way there--and we're not playing horseshoes or handgrenades. Dropbox data are encrypted during transmission and in the cloud, but Dropbox possesses the keys. Data are more secure if users (and only users) possess the keys.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What you are referring to is very different from what Dropbox offers. Any mention I make to MobileMe and Dropbox is really a comparison to iDisk and Dropbox as those are the two comparable services.

I use both. I use MobileMe for my push email, backups of all my important data, and Find My iPhone. For the money its worth the $80/year I pay for the Family Pack. But for file storage and sharing I dont use iDisk, I use Dropbox. Its better in every single way. I love that if a file is already on their servers it wont re-upload it, but will say its done almost instantly after it checks the file, even if I have changed the name of the file.

I am looking into DropBox as I type. ... thanks for the tip.

BTW. Don't you suspect this is pretty much what Apple may be coming out with soon?
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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I am looking into DropBox as I type. ... thanks for the tip.

BTW. Don't you suspect this is pretty much what Apple may be coming out with soon?

I sure hope so because its world ahead of iDisk and benefits both Apple and the consumer to use this type of intelligent storage.
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post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysturn View Post

Why can't they just keep a list of all purchases from iTunes like music, videos, apps, etc. and then just backup (sync) data, photos, email, etc. from the iDevice. They would then keep a list of what purchased items you keep on your device and they could restore a device by reloading the purchased items from itunes and the data from the backup. That way all you need to sync is the changes to data, photos, emails, etc. and not store the iFart app 10 million times in 10 million different users sync files.


That's what hardlinks are for and Time Machine already does that on a local network. It's a small evolutionary step to do that at a datacenter level once you have a datacenter. To take it another step further, file MD5s can be used to do the same thing for standard application files across any app. Then most users just need positive private storage of their unique files.
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post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Dropbox is only 90% of the way there--and we're not playing horseshoes or handgrenades. Dropbox data are encrypted during transmission and in the cloud, but Dropbox possesses the keys. Data are more secure if users (and only users) possess the keys.

Of course it's only part way there. Just as SoundJam was before Apple bought it and made it iTunes. Changed the music landscape forever, didn't it?

I'll bet you this: Some big tech company will buy out DB very soon. It'll be gone. (Look, for instance, at the ridiculous sums of money being recently thrown around by companies like Dell and HP for start-ups with 'cloud' skills). In the meantime, Apple will be still noodling around with its sub-par MM. If, after this many years, MM is still where it is, I don't hold out much hope for it.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Of course [DropBox is] only part way there. Just as SoundJam was before Apple bought it and made it iTunes. Changed the music landscape forever, didn't it?

You're missing the point: the public is far too complacent and lax with their trust of cloud computing and storage services. IMHO this stems largely out of the public's ignorance and a mass hysteria towards using the latest, coolest things. But if we, the people, don't wise up and stand up for our privacy, the corporations and criminals will walk right over us.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

You're missing the point: the public is far too complacent and lax with their trust of cloud computing and storage services. IMHO this stems largely out of the public's ignorance and a mass hysteria towards using the latest, coolest things. But if we, the people, don't wise up and stand up for our privacy, the corporations and criminals will walk right over us.

The things I put on the cloud have little or nothing to do with 'privacy.' Large parts of my life -- indeed, all our lives -- is far from private.

If yours is not, well, you must work for the .....
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Memo to Apple: Just buy Dropbox, and be done with it.

My sentiments with one critical caveat. One of the strengths of Dropbox is that is runs marvelously on virtually every platform, mobile or desktop. It's hard to image Apple devoting the same attention to the Droid app that they devote to one for an iPhone.

A much better idea might be to build support for Dropbox (and for fairness sake, similar services) into the Mac OS and iOS. They do that with Google, despite the competition between the two. They could certainly manage to do so with a small and specialized outfit like Dropbox. And they might also buy non-exclusive rights to Dropbox code, so what they're doing 'in the cloud' works as well.

And while Apple is doing that, they might work with Dropbox programmers so OS X and Dropbox can deal with OS X's package folders without occasional glitches. That's the only thing keeping many otherwise happy Scrivener users from storing their Scrivener projects (typically books) in Dropbox.

Fortunately, the 2.0 version of Scrivener, due out in late October, will partially get around that by allowing writers to check out chapters of their book to be worked on with any text application and device that works with Dropbox, including iPhones and the just-out PlainText app.
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

With the volume of clients they have they need one hell of a data center link to insane telecom lines. This is why they are building one and cant offer this until this is done.

I hope a US data centre works well in Australia and other places around the world!

Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

If the net isn't available how do I sync over the net?

I _think_ they're talking about something I've been wanting for a while.

Your data is saved locally (like a regular synced iPhone), and when it gets an internet connection it syncs. At this time, there is a pre-made list of items ready to sync which it has predicted you'll want access to (I guess each side knows what has changed too?). There is also the facility to request what you want synced manually. And thirdly there are "savvy" apps which can get data straight from the cloud without the syncing.

There's lots that could be done with this model, it'll be really interesting to watch.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The things I put on the cloud have little or nothing to do with 'privacy.' Large parts of my life -- indeed, all our lives -- is far from private.

If yours is not, well, you must work for the .....

The CEO of Apple?

I have no intention of revealing my business dealings and family matters to just anyone.

But please feel free to prostrate yourself on the alter of money-grubbing entrepreneurs who could give a crap about our privacy. Just because you don't see how it could be any other way doesn't mean the rest of us have to settle for the status quo.

http://www.techspot.com/news/40280-g...r-privacy.html
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