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iCloud nets 85M subscribers as sign-ups outpace device sales

post #1 of 52
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During Tuesday's earning conference call, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook referred to iCloud as an integral part of the company's future after the cloud storage and syncing service saw an almost overwhelming adoption rate of over 85 million users.

Following a rocky beginning, Apple's iCloud has seen incredible growth, and the number of new subscribers added during the three months ending in December outnumbered the combined sales of Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPods.

"iCloud is off to a great start with more than 85 million customers signed up as of today," said Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer. "With iCloud, customers can store their music and photos and documents and keep their personal information and content in sync across all their devices, automatically and seamlessly."

The massive numbers are not solely customers who sign up after purchasing a new product, but also includes those who have transferred old MobileMe accounts to the new cloud service.

Unlike Apple's previous attempts at centralized storage and online management systems seen in .Mac and subsequently MobileMe, iCloud is free and offers a much more comprehensive and seamless user experience. With .Mac and MobileMe, users had to sync data manually, pay for storage and deal with a sometimes clunky interface, which could explain why iCloud is enjoying such success.

"It was a fundamental shift recognizing that people had numerous devices and they wanted the bulk of their content in the cloud, and easily accessible from all the devices," Cook said.




When the service launched in October 2011 alongside iOS 5, users were granted access to seamless syncing of emails, calendars, contacts as well as cloud storage for all their Apple devices. At the time, one analyst said that iCloud was the most important Apple service since iTunes, and guessed that it would one day lead to gadgets "we haven't thought of yet."

It remains to be seen what devices Apple has planned in their product pipeline, but Cook is clear as to how important iCloud is to the company's future.

"It's just not a product. It's a strategy for the next decade," Cook said.
post #2 of 52
When Slappy is done Slapping Slappy over Apples super quarter performance, he will make iCloud into a dark raincloud !
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post #3 of 52
Is iCloud US only or Global? (I'm using US account so I have no way to know)
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is iCloud US only or Global? (I'm using US account so I have no way to know)

Works for me is Australia

I think they are progressively rolling it out.
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is iCloud US only or Global? (I'm using US account so I have no way to know)

Once iOS5 was released, I have migrated from MobileMe to iCloud. Though interestingly I still use my MobileMe account to login...
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post #6 of 52
I live in Thailand. It's been available here from the beginning.
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is iCloud US only or Global? (I'm using US account so I have no way to know)

Since iCloud is synching the users personal data, documents and image, there were no legal restrictions to rolling it out worldwide, nor were there any language requirements which limit the rollout of Siri. Only Apple's server capacities were a limit. Think of Gmail which also was a worldwide product from day one (if you exclude the US cellphone number requirement that it had a the very beginning if you did not have an invitation).

iTunes Match (as well as similar things like Amazon's music cloud locker) do have to content with legal issues. Though while Amazon's service is still limited to the US (or at least NA), Apple has been very agressive in adding new countries to iTunes Match.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiced View Post

Once iOS5 was released, I have migrated from MobileMe to iCloud. Though interestingly I still use my MobileMe account to login...

You are supposed to be able to change that to your Apple ID. I have seen an option to that effect.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiced View Post

Once iOS5 was released, I have migrated from MobileMe to iCloud. Though interestingly I still use my MobileMe account to login...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

You are supposed to be able to change that to your Apple ID. I have seen an option to that effect.

If it was already an AppleID (HappyCustomer@mac.com) you didn't need to do anything, only move over to iCloud. Because I still use iDisk and Gallery (because of its easy integration with Aperture) I need to log into both sites. The me.com site allows you to logon with just your username. With iCloud.com you need to enter your full email address. But I digress.

Certainly hope they will bring iDisk and Galleries to iCloud. Others want Keychains as well.
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post #10 of 52
BUT...I don't use it for anything other than a secondary back up to my local iPhone backup.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

If it was already an AppleID (HappyCustomer@mac.com) you didn't need to do anything, only move over to iCloud. Because I still use iDisk and Gallery (because of its easy integration with Aperture) I need to log into both sites. The me.com site allows you to logon with just your username. With iCloud.com you need to enter your full email address. But I digress.

Or in other words, your AppleID/iCloud login is simply an email address. It defaults to your MobileMe email address when moving over.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklight View Post

I live in Thailand. It's been available here from the beginning.

Really? There's even no Apple store in Thailand.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Since iCloud is synching the users personal data, documents and image, there were no legal restrictions to rolling it out worldwide, nor were there any language requirements which limit the rollout of Siri. Only Apple's server capacities were a limit. Think of Gmail which also was a worldwide product from day one (if you exclude the US cellphone number requirement that it had a the very beginning if you did not have an invitation).

iTunes Match (as well as similar things like Amazon's music cloud locker) do have to content with legal issues. Though while Amazon's service is still limited to the US (or at least NA), Apple has been very agressive in adding new countries to iTunes Match.

I see. Thanks for clearing it up.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

BUT...I don't use it for anything other than a secondary back up to my local iPhone backup.

Yeah, back up is great, Photostream not so much (can not delete a single photo). But they should revive iDisk. If SJ thought Dropbox is just a feature then gives us that damn feature.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Yeah, back up is great, Photostream not so much (can not delete a single photo). But they should revive iDisk. If SJ thought Dropbox is just a feature then gives us that damn feature.

No doubt. A Dropbox like feature would be cool, but we still have dropbox.

And photostream should have that ability after the next update. Should have been done from the beginning. I have it off on all my devices until then (got tired of seeing a picture of kids toys and shoes my wife took for eBay).

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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is iCloud US only or Global? (I'm using US account so I have no way to know)

some features are US only, or at least select counties, like the iTunes stuff. But the syncing of contacts, calendars etc is global

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiced View Post

Once iOS5 was released, I have migrated from MobileMe to iCloud. Though interestingly I still use my MobileMe account to login...

Not exactly. Your MobileMe email address and connected password are an Apple ID and you use that same ID for iCloud.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

You are supposed to be able to change that to your Apple ID. I have seen an option to that effect.

Yes and no. If you have an email that has never been in apple's ID system you can swap an Apple ID email for the new one. So like I have charlituna@aol.com but I don't use that email anymore and just got a gmail address. I can swap out the aol for charlituna@gmail.com as my username. BUT. I can't swap charlituna@mac.com or charlituna@me.com for that aol because those were set up as Apple IDs as soon as I signed up for .mac/mobileme and you can't merge apple ids.

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post #17 of 52
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Originally Posted by thegreatbosan View Post

When Slappy is done Slapping Slappy over Apples super quarter performance, he will make iCloud into a dark raincloud !

Just ask the chair throwing M$ CEO, he will tell you exactly why this is just a hilarious rounding error.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

BUT. I can't swap charlituna@mac.com or charlituna@me.com for that aol because those were set up as Apple IDs as soon as I signed up for .mac/mobileme and you can't merge apple ids.

This really needs a solution.

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post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiced View Post

Once iOS5 was released, I have migrated from MobileMe to iCloud. Though interestingly I still use my MobileMe account to login...

I'm on iOS 5 with all my devices with one MBP on Lion and use MobileMe/iDisk/back to my Mac, but that is about it. I don't use their web site, photos, or mail. I have not switched to iCloud and from what I recall reading there is no upside for my purposes. I have all the iWork apps but I just use them as migration tools to and from Office documents for my Windows clients. 90% of my work is in CS and assorted programming tools. I really don't know why I would need iCloud but I guess I will have to convert eventually otherwise I will lose my 'back to my mac' once MobileMe closes down.

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post #20 of 52
I have to say I'm skeptical that this number means much of anything. It's a free service so of course people are going to sign up and try it out. But how many are really using it and how many tried it for a couple days and gave up?
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

Or in other words, your AppleID/iCloud login is simply an email address. It defaults to your MobileMe email address when moving over.

They are canceling iDisk and storage will be half, 5gb.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

If it was already an AppleID (HappyCustomer@mac.com) you didn't need to do anything, only move over to iCloud. Because I still use iDisk and Gallery (because of its easy integration with Aperture) I need to log into both sites. The me.com site allows you to logon with just your username. With iCloud.com you need to enter your full email address. But I digress.

Certainly hope they will bring iDisk and Galleries to iCloud. Other want Keychains as well.

I think a lot of people want one username and password to rule them all. It is a pain having a former Mobile me user ID and a Apple User ID because it complicates syncing through iCloud (at least in my experience).

I like iCloud, but the roll out for people with existing user IDs of some sort was not as easy as it should have been.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I have to say I'm skeptical that this number means much of anything. It's a free service so of course people are going to sign up and try it out. But how many are really using it and how many tried it for a couple days and gave up?



Most people are going to use at least some of iCloud's services. For instance, locating or wiping a lost Apple device is done through iCloud.

Not everybody might use other features, like email. I am using it, and like it a lot. I relegated Gmail to my spam box.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I'm on iOS 5 with all my devices with one MBP on Lion and use MobileMe/iDisk/back to my Mac, but that is about it. I don't use their web site, photos, or mail. I have not switched to iCloud and from what I recall reading there is no upside for my purposes. I have all the iWork apps but I just use them as migration tools to and from Office documents for my Windows clients. 90% of my work is in CS and assorted programming tools. I really don't know why I would need iCloud but I guess I will have to convert eventually otherwise I will lose my 'back to my mac' once MobileMe closes down.

If you want to locate or remote wipe a Apple device, you probably would at least find some benefit to iCloud. It is also useful to manage contacts and website book marks across all devices.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Most people are going to use at least some of iCloud's services. For instance, locating or wiping a lost Apple device is done through iCloud.

True, and that makes even usage numbers less useful. They have this service, some users signed up but aren't using it at all, others may be using just one small fraction of what it offers. At this point nobody is in a position to make assumptions about what "most people" will do with the service.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

True, and that makes even usage numbers less useful. They have this service, some users signed up but aren't using it at all, others may be using just one small fraction of what it offers.

iCloud is four everyday things:
- an e-mail account (incl. web interface)
- synching of contacts and calendars (incl. web interface)
- 'syncing' of photos taken with an iPhone or an iPad (incl. web interface)
- syncing of iWork documents between the iOS versions of iWork (incl. web interface)

and two find-and-connect-to-device things:
- Back To My Mac
- Find My iPhone

There are a few smaller things like syncing notes (which technically is just a special mailbox), reminders (which is a sort of a calendar) and bookmarks (which I would lump with syncing contacts and calendars).

When people say they have signed up but don't use it at all, they often mean they don't actively use it (ie, don't use the Apple e-mail account, don't use iWorks on iOS). But that likely just means they still use two out of the four main functions, ie, 50%, which is not exactly 'not at all'. And to say they don't use things like Find My iPhone would be disingenuous, most people don't use that until they need it.

The other interesting thing is that the e-mail account, the contact and calendar syncing, Back To My Mac, Find My iPhone were all part of MobileMe, thus they are not new in iCloud. The only new things in iCloud are Photostream and iWork sync between iOS devices. And somehow, the latter seems to be perceived as the main thing in iCloud and thus if you don't use that one element you feel you hardly use iCloud.

Note that iTunes Match is technically not part of iCloud in the sense that you have to sign up and pay for it separately. In the same way is iTunes-less set-up of iOS devices not technically part of iCloud, it is a feature of iOS, as is the WiFi syncing. The only debatable part of this that belongs to iClould is the device backup to iCloud.
post #27 of 52
iCloud backup and restore works great.

I've found that setting up Photostream on a PC isn't a good solution. I'd have rather seen Apple simply develop a small PC app that handles the syncing duties via iCloud than the simple control panel they offer now.

iCloud right now has its training wheels on. I suspect that after a couple of major revisions we'll be astonished by its pervasiveness.

What needs to happen next is ubiquitous 4G access in all mobile devices in 3-5 years. For that to happen the cellular providers have got to make it affordable to have multiple devices on shared data without a bunch of unnecessary fees.

Then the power of iCloud will be strengthened because access is always there.
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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

iThe other interesting thing is that the e-mail account, the contact and calendar syncing, Back To My Mac, Find My iPhone were all part of MobileMe, thus they are not new in iCloud. The only new things in iCloud are Photostream and iWork sync between iOS devices. And somehow, the latter seems to be perceived as the main thing in iCloud and thus if you don't use that one element you feel you hardly use iCloud.

Yeah but with all your praise, you didn't mention the one big thing that is missing in iCloud, iDisk. That and Back to My Mac are the only things I use. Thankfully I have never lost my iPhone, aside from once when I lost it in the washing machine and it definitely got wiped clean without any assistance from iCloud.

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post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Yeah but with all your praise, you didn't mention the one big thing that is missing in iCloud, iDisk. That and Back to My Mac are the only things I use. Thankfully I have never lost my iPhone, aside from once when I lost it in the washing machine and it definitely got wiped clean without any assistance from iCloud.

It was not my intention to praise iCloud by listing all the things it does, rather I listed them to show people that they use a lot of functionality of iCloud even if they think they don't.

While I understand the usefulness of iDisk, now that most components of MobileMe are free, one can spend the same $99 per year and get 50 GB from Dropbox. Apart from offering a price bracket that Dropbox did not offer, there was never a really good reason to prefer iDisk over Dropbox but there were a lot of good reasons to prefer Dropbox over iDisk.
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

While I understand the usefulness of iDisk, now that most components of MobileMe are free, one can spend the same $99 per year and get 50 GB from Dropbox. Apart from offering a price bracket that Dropbox did not offer, there was never a really good reason to prefer iDisk over Dropbox but there were a lot of good reasons to prefer Dropbox over iDisk.

I have dropbox but I never use it. I guess I just got in the habit of using iDisk since it appears in the side menu of the finder window like another disk, at least in SL. Kind of hidden in Lion.

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post #31 of 52
So from a simple email perspective, iCloud works way better than mobileme did. The webmail, calendar, and contacts are great.

That said I still use SugarSync to sync my docs everywhere....and I even pay for it (30gig).

iCloud cant even do this between 2 Mac's yet with out the browser??? The document type support sucks big time as well. (no .docx, .xlxs etc)

I hope the future of iCloud allows me to get rid of SugarSync.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have dropbox but I never use it. I guess I just got in the habit of using iDisk since it appears in the side menu of the finder window like another disk, at least in SL. Kind of hidden in Lion.

I have never understood the love for dropbox. You must use that single folder?

I have sugar sync and its 100x more flexible. My documents are in the documents folder, and I tell SugarSync to sync them. If I had dropbox I would have to move them.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

some features are US only, or at least select counties, like the iTunes stuff. But the syncing of contacts, calendars etc is global



Not exactly. Your MobileMe email address and connected password are an Apple ID and you use that same ID for iCloud.




Yes and no. If you have an email that has never been in apple's ID system you can swap an Apple ID email for the new one. So like I have charlituna@aol.com but I don't use that email anymore and just got a gmail address. I can swap out the aol for charlituna@gmail.com as my username. BUT. I can't swap charlituna@mac.com or charlituna@me.com for that aol because those were set up as Apple IDs as soon as I signed up for .mac/mobileme and you can't merge apple ids.


THanks for the clarification. I found the process confusing. I never had a MobileMe account (I abandoned ship after it changed from free iTools). I, however, had an Apple ID. I couldn't find a way to merge my Apple ID with my iCloud ID. That is a pain because when updating apps sometimes I have to sign in using my Apple ID (for pre iCloud apps) and sometimes my iCloud ID (for newer Apps).
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

I have never understood the love for dropbox. You must use that single folder?

I have sugar sync and its 100x more flexible. My documents are in the documents folder, and I tell SugarSync to sync them. If I had dropbox I would have to move them.

Does SugarSync have the checkmarks etc. on file and folders? Can multiple people write to the same folder? Does it have versions?
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Does SugarSync have the checkmarks etc. on file and folders? Can multiple people write to the same folder? Does it have versions?

Yes...yes...yes.

https://www.sugarsync.com/sync_comparison.html

Example of how I am using it right now. I have a Windows 7 PC on my desk at work, folder on the desktop called "Job Descriptions" with about 6 files in it, word/pdf's. I right click it set it up to sync.

On My Mac at home it will hit the desktop by default or I can tell it put the folder in my documents folder.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

Yes...yes...yes.

https://www.sugarsync.com/sync_comparison.html

Example of how I am using it right now. I have a Windows 7 PC on my desk at work, folder on the desktop called "Job Descriptions" with about 6 files in it, word/pdf's. I right click it set it up to sync.

Does it have local WiFi sync?

It looks like the main difference to Dropbox is that it can sync multiple folders. Of course that is an advantage but I feel that for most people that is too much complexity. Not you and me, normal people, having one folder that is the same everywhere is as much complexity they are fully comfortable and willing to deal with.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

Or in other words, your AppleID/iCloud login is simply an email address. It defaults to your MobileMe email address when moving over.

In case this wasn't mentioned, iCloud uses the @me.com(@mac.com) email address for every iCloud user that wants to have all the features associated with iCloud. If you are using some other email adddress domain you will not get all the features associated with iCloud.

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post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

In case this wasn't mentioned, iCloud uses the @me.com(@mac.com) email address for every iCloud user that wants to have all the features associated with iCloud. If you are using some other email adddress domain you will not get all the features associated with iCloud.


What is the recommended method of dealing with the following situation:

My Apple Id for all of my iTunes/App store purchases is not a .mac or .me email address. It is my own domain email address. That id is also my Apple paid developer ID as well. My mobileMe address is as expected my mobileMe address that I use for mobileMe services such as iDisk and Back to My Mac. What is your advice for me to transition to iCloud?

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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What is the recommended method of dealing with the following situation:

My Apple Id for all of my iTunes/App store purchases is not a .mac or .me email address. It is my own domain email address. That id is also my Apple paid developer ID as well. My mobileMe address is as expected my mobileMe address that I use for mobileMe services such as iDisk and Back to My Mac. What is your advice for me to transition to iCloud?

Transition your MM account to iCloud when you are ready (or forced) and then use that to get access to all the features offered by iCloud.

I hope that one day Apple will let users do transitions of email addresses to an account something that is simple for a database to deal with even if it's a oneway transition from a non @me.com address to an @me.com address, but that so far seems like something they are uninterested in dealing with.

PS: I forget the services that you can't access when not using an @me.com address for iCloud, but you can always have several tied to your phone so it's not a huge issue, just a potentially complex one.

PPS: Long day so I may have missed something in your question or my reply.

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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Does it have local WiFi sync?

It looks like the main difference to Dropbox is that it can sync multiple folders. Of course that is an advantage but I feel that for most people that is too much complexity. Not you and me, normal people, having one folder that is the same everywhere is as much complexity they are fully comfortable and willing to deal with.

I guess that is the main advantage is multiple folders....and for simplicity Dropbox uses one.

That said I would think even average users probably have some kind of folder structure in their "documents" folder on a Mac or even a PC. With drop box do you have to move everything into that? Or at least what you want synced?
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