Apple enhancing iCloud with new web apps, Lost Mode for iOS 6

Posted:
in iCloud edited January 2014
Apple is upgrading or expanding five web apps in its online iCloud portfolio, in preparation for iOS 6 which is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday.

All new Notes, Reminders apps

First revealed in May, Apple's beta iCloud testing ground has been putting the finishing touches on new Notes and Reminders apps.

The new apps are virtually identical to their iOS and OS X Mountain Lion siblings. The new Reminders web app (shown below) offers a cloud-based version of events synced with iOS mobile devices and desktop Macs, although it does not support location based reminders (simply ignoring any "geofence" reminder settings triggered to go out when entering or leaving a particular location).



Notes gets a similar web treatment (below), although unlike its iOS and OS X counterparts, there's no way to change the default font from Noteworthy. Notes on the web also reflects the stitched leather binding of its iOS counterpart rather than the plainer version in OS X.

Refreshed Mail, Calendar apps

In addition to the two new apps, iCloud Mail and Calendar are both getting minor updates. The new Mail (below) adds support for VIP inboxes introduced in Mountain Lion's Mail this summer.



Mail also uses iOS style scroll bars that are skinnier and translucent, in strange contrast to iCloud's Calendar app, which continues to use a standard scroll bars with a full gutter and arrow buttons (below, in contrast to the modern scroll bars in Safari next to them).



The only apparent change in Calendars is the removal of the Reminders list, which is now its own app. Similarly, the iCloud Contacts app hasn't changed at all, so it retains the odd "bookmark" control for accessing contact groups that Apple has removed from both the OS X and iOS 6 versions of the app.

Also left apparently unchanged is Apple's support for saving and accessing iWork documents from the web (below). Overall, the company's web strategy for iCloud seems very conservative, given that both Google and now Microsoft have made web versions of their office apps a prominent part of their software strategy.



Expectations that Apple would also rush to bring document editing to the web have been completely wrong. Instead, the company has focused on native apps for both OS X and iOS, although it hasn't released a significantly new version of iWork for OS X since the '09 versions launched nearly three years ago. It has, however, added a variety of important features, with pioneering iCloud document support among the most obvious.

On page 2 of 2: New Lost Mode for iOS 6 devices

New Lost Mode for iOS 6 devices

One final feature Apple has added to iCloud's web portfolio is a new "Lost Mode" within Find My iPhone. The new feature is an enhancement over the previous version, which only offers to lock the device and optionally send it a message.

If your iOS 6 device goes missing, you can click on Lost Mode and the app prompts you to enter a phone number and message, locks the device remotely and will track the device every time it moves, reporting changes in location via email updates. It will also draw each location change on the map, showing a trail of where the device has shown up.





Devices that haven't yet upgraded to iOS 6, along with Macs registered to use iCloud's Find My Mac (below), continue to support the old Lock feature, without updates or live tracking.



Notably, Apple is still using Google Maps within iCloud rather than its own Maps that will launch with the new iOS 6 update later this week. The company may transition over to its own map services at some point.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    This is great news for consumers.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    cgjcgj Posts: 276member


    Could we have a 'Stolen mode', please?


     


    You know, where we can take a picture from the front/rear cameras...you know, like Prey?

  • Reply 3 of 39
    Looking great, but I can't wait for them to add the two big ones:

    (1) iMessage
    (2) Streaming from my 'iTunes in the Cloud'
  • Reply 4 of 39


    Originally Posted by aerocowboy View Post

    Looking great, but I can't wait for them to add the two big ones:

    (1) iMessage


     


    That's not going to happen.

  • Reply 5 of 39
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    @cgj

    You mean new Stolen Mode, where you get the ability to send an electric shock remotely when the phone detects its been placed in a pocket near the person's genitals?
  • Reply 6 of 39


    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    …you get the ability to send an electric shock remotely when the phone detects its been placed in a pocket near the person's genitals?


     


    Go big or go home. Have the battery short itself and explode. image

  • Reply 7 of 39


    I'd still like to see iTunes Match improvements.  Specifically, stop streaming censored versions of my songs that aren't censored.   

  • Reply 8 of 39
    Great features and updates. I like that we can save our txt files to iCloud, it would be even nicer if the txt editor app became a notes app so you could sync with the cloud and your iDevices. Currently I can't access them unless I have my MBP with me.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    New Stolen Mode: To be able to travel back in time so I can put right what once went wrong.

  • Reply 10 of 39
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I still find it hard to believe that they are updating the Notes app yet again and still sticking with that hideous yellow foolscap paper with no option to change it to anything else.

    The intense ugliness of the Notes app is pretty much the only reason that the app store is flooded with alternatives. You don't see half as many alternatives for any other iOS system app.

    Especially considering the rather tasteful paper they use for "Reminders" this situation is an absolute travesty IMO. White paper, just plain old white paper, that's all I (and thousands of others) are asking for!
  • Reply 11 of 39
    I don't use iTunes Match so they stream censored songs, really WTF. Its your media, your device and your data plan yet Apple is telling you what you can and cannot listen to. I wonder if Amazon does that . . .
  • Reply 12 of 39

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eksodos View Post



    This is great news for consumers.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CGJ View Post


    Could we have a 'Stolen mode', please?


     


    You know, where we can take a picture from the front/rear cameras...you know, like Prey?



     


    "Lost" is just an engaging way of telling a thief that you know he has your iPhone.


     


    I wish you could:



    1. set a passcode of longer than 4 digits and allow alphameric


    2. override a passcode already stored on the device


     


    But this is great -- the iPhone is thief-bait...  This will make it a lot less attractive to thieves.

  • Reply 13 of 39

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

         Originally Posted by aerocowboy View Post

         Looking great, but I can't wait for them to add the two big ones: (1) iMessage


     


    That's not going to happen.



     


    Why wouldn't it? Seems it'd be a pretty damn handy thing for the target market of iCloud.com -- people away from their primary devices, for whatever reason.

  • Reply 14 of 39


    I want a feature in the iOS 6 Maps app running on an iPad/Touch/iPhone where I can track (with the trackee's permission) an iDevice...


     


    Friends/relatives are driving in from out of state and I wan't track their progress with a live map and notifications.  This would be useful in case of delays, hazards, accidents... or you could suggest the take a scenic detour...

  • Reply 15 of 39

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I want a feature in the iOS 6 Maps app running on an iPad/Touch/iPhone where I can track (with the trackee's permission) an iDevice...


     


    Friends/relatives are driving in from out of state and I wan't track their progress with a live map and notifications.  This would be useful in case of delays, hazards, accidents... or you could suggest the take a scenic detour...





    This was introduced in iOS 5 and is available from the App store now.


     


    http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/find-my-friends.html

  • Reply 16 of 39
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,460member


    Mostly, there should be the ability to require a password to shut it down so the thief can't turn it off to prevent tracking it.  There are always ways around letting it be tracked but that would add one more layer.

     

  • Reply 17 of 39


    Originally Posted by aerocowboy View Post

    Why wouldn't it? Seems it'd be a pretty damn handy thing for the target market of iCloud.com -- people away from their primary devices, for whatever reason.


     


    I see iCloud.com as more of a "people on Windows" market, but that's me.

  • Reply 18 of 39
    Yet still no access to photo stream from the website. Nevermind then. Once again, the one feature I've been asking for is left out.
  • Reply 19 of 39

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I see iCloud.com as more of a "people on Windows" market, but that's me.





    I don't necessarily see a problem with this, like iTunes is available for Windows, why not allow Windows users to talk to all their friends with iOS devices?  The more iMessage is used, the more valuable it becomes as a service.  If they want an even better desktop implementation, they can purchase a Mac.  I don't think it will cost Apple sales, and the incremental service costs are pretty low.

  • Reply 20 of 39
    Lost mode is useless. what we need is the ability to lock the SIM card in the phone and the ability to disable the power button
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