Mobile
Commentary
5/15/2012
10:04 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Apple iCloud Refresh Eyes Social Weak Spot

Apple is preparing to make it easier to share photos through its iCloud service. It can't let Google have all the photo-sharing fun.

10 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
10 Things Tablets Still Can't Do
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple plans to make some major changes to its iCloud service, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to unnamed sources, Apple is looking to add some social networking features to iCloud in the form of a new photo-sharing service.

The new features will come to light at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off in mid-June. At WWDC, Apple is expected to preview the next version of iOS, as well as talk up new applications and updates to existing applications. WWDC may also be the stage for a refresh of Apple's laptops.

With respect to iCloud. however, the Journal says that users of iCloud will be able to share photo albums with other iCloud users, as well as comment on them.

Does this service sound familiar to anyone?

The hallmark feature offered by many of today's social networks is the ability to share photos with friends and loved ones. Think Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and dozens of others. These social players bank on the idea that people like the share their experiences with others, and spreading photos is the best way to do that.

For example, I spent the week of May 6 in New Orleans to attend the CTIA Wireless trade show. What did I (and many other show attendees) do? I took dozens of photos and shared them all over the place, with pretty much every social network account that I have.

In its current form, iCloud and its Photo Stream component are more of a back-up and syncing service meant to move photos between Apple devices, such as from the iPhone to a Mac or iPad. Photo Stream doesn't store all a user's photos, only the most recent 1000 images. Aside from passing them between Apple devices, Photo Stream and iCloud don't let you do much with them.

Based on the potential addition of this service to iCloud and Photo Stream, it's clear that Apple is looking to make up for its social network shortcoming: photo-sharing.

Sure, Apple's devices have great integration with Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but Apple doesn't have a photo-sharing service to call its own.

Apple's main competitor, Google, does. Google has offered Picasa for years, which was and still is a decent online tool for storing and sharing photos and photo albums. Now Google has Google+, which also prioritizes the ability to share images. Google+ works on both the Android platform and the iOS platform.

Is the ability to easily share photos a vital service? Perhaps not, but it is human nature to share. If Apple doesn't provide a place for its users to share experiences, those customers will seek out other places to share--and they have.

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together industry thought leaders to explore the latest innovations in enterprise social software, analytics, and big data tools and technologies. Learn how your business can harness these tools to improve internal business processes and create operational efficiencies. It happens in Boston, June 18-21. Register today!

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.