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Programming Cloud OS X Apple

With Mountain Lion's iCloud Integration, Apple Strengthens the Garden Wall 376

Posted by timothy
from the any-color-as-long-as-it's-apple dept.
snydeq writes "With WWDC around the corner, iOS 6 rumors are taking center stage, but the real action for developers may be around iCloud. Forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion will integrate iCloud into the formal file system, making iCloud usage much easier and thus more common, and thanks to iCloud Documents, which lets apps open and save documents directly in iCloud, developers will be able to better tap iOS-to-OSX document syncing in their apps, a la iWork. But there is a downside to this opportunity: 'For developers, it further enmeshes you in the Apple ecosystem, almost in the way that America Online did in its heyday. Case in point: OS X apps can use the iCloud Documents APIs only if they are sold through the Mac App Store.'"
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With Mountain Lion's iCloud Integration, Apple Strengthens the Garden Wall

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  • Garden Wall? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) * on Friday May 18, 2012 @09:42PM (#40048247) Homepage
    I don't know y'all, feels more like Kudzu [wikipedia.org] to me.....
  • Either way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BitHive (578094) on Friday May 18, 2012 @09:42PM (#40048251) Homepage

    This signals the beginning of the end for something.

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:09PM (#40048427)

      The large-scale acceptance of iOS's market-only software install was the beginning. This is just the inevitable progression of something that turned out to be very profitable.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:16PM (#40048457)

      Apple doesn't want you to have a computer, they want you to have Apple devices where you buy stuff from Apple. They want you to sit around and consume the content they sell. They've been heading that direction for awhile now, this is just a continuation of it. It isn't likely to be too many more years before they lock it down entirely, and Macs are just large stations for accessing the Apple Store/iTunes.

      Apple is all about the locked-in ecosystem where everything is their way, everything runs through them, and they get a cut of everything. This is just another step down that road.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:53PM (#40048653)

        Apple doesn't want you to have a computer, they want you to have Apple devices where you buy stuff from Apple. They want you to sit around and consume the content they sell. They've been heading that direction for awhile now, this is just a continuation of it. It isn't likely to be too many more years before they lock it down entirely, and Macs are just large stations for accessing the Apple Store/iTunes.

        Apple is all about the locked-in ecosystem where everything is their way, everything runs through them, and they get a cut of everything. This is just another step down that road.

        Apple wants you to buy hardware. All the content, apps, and the walled garden are a means to this end.

        Apple's financial reports illustrate this point. They generate little (as a percentage) in non-hardware sales.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18, 2012 @11:01PM (#40048725)

        Whats awesome is Microsoft's lame attempts at cloning Apple's latest business strategy.

        It's like hearing your grandfather talk about how swell Lil Wayne's new record is.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday May 18, 2012 @11:10PM (#40048781) Homepage Journal

        They want you to sit around and consume the content they sell.

        You have just described our entire culture.

        We are no longer meant to be active participants, but merely passive consumers. And the latest innovations, we're not even consumers, but rather the consumables.

        Facebook, for example. Its users are not its customers. Its users are the product they are offering to its real customers. This disconnect from the natural relationship of buyer and seller is a trend that leads us to a not-so-great place. The reason that Facebook's users are not its customers, is because people don't have any money, so the only thing they have to offer to the marketplace is their personal information, their habits, their discussions, their personal communications.

        How much would you pay to use a service like Facebook? And why do you not have the choice? The notion that advertising is the only way to monetize the Internet is either an example of just how unimaginative our economic overlords really are. And cowardly. Because if it were a traditional buyer-seller relationship, then they'd actually have to offer something of value. They'd have to answer questions, provide a product or service of actual value. But that's too hard. And too honest.

        Apple is going this direction too. Its customers are becoming less and less the people who buy their products and more and more the people who use their products to sell stuff to those of us who have their products.

        We will see an Mac desktop OS that only allows installation of software purchased not from, but through Apple. Count on it.

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday May 18, 2012 @11:31PM (#40048881) Journal

          (At a management meeting)

          "Our product is growing vocal about certain issues. We can't have product dissenting from our views. Brainwash half and lock out the other half. Now excuse me while I take a sip of this delicious Coca Cola, whose every refreshing sip makes meetings go better."

          (/Bitter)

        • by petsounds (593538) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:21AM (#40049107)

          The reason that Facebook's users are not its customers, is because people don't have any money, so the only thing they have to offer to the marketplace is their personal information, their habits, their discussions, their personal communications.

          While this sounds very delicious in its sensationalism, the reason Facebook is free is the same reason all social media services are free -- you won't attract a critical mass of users if your service sits behind a paywall. People don't want to use a 'social' service in which their social circle has to pay in order to interact with each other.

          This has nothing to do with people's ability to pay or not pay -- some community-driven pay-to-play sites seem to be profitable, e.g. eHarmony.com, Ancestry.com, Second Life. They aren't Facebook-level profitable, but they stay in business. The difference is that those social services are driven by discovery of new social contacts, not bringing your current circle over. And they offer features which people are willing to pay for. Sending messages, sharing photos, writing comments... these features are so ubiquitous now that they essentially have no intrinsic value, except for profile mining in the hands of unethical capitalists like the Facebook team.

          Facebook is just a digital mirror of brick-and-mortar corporate conglomerates who offer seemingly much better value than local, customer-focused businesses. And people eat it up, thinking there's no downsides.

          While I'm quite ardently against Apple's walled garden increasingly becoming a SuperMAX prison, at least customers are actually buying a product, and Apple's business goal is not selling your information. Their goal is selling hardware, and getting a cut out of every app store purchase. Apple just wants to keep you locked in, but I do believe MOST of the people who work there really are trying to make good products that help people. Every feature rollout on Facebook by contrast is another transparent attempt to get more data about your life.

      • by tsa (15680) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:49AM (#40049435) Homepage

        That door was open already, and kicked to smithereens years ago.

    • by Grayhand (2610049) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:47AM (#40049227)
      "This signals the beginning of the end for something." Common sense. This is similar to the feeding frenzy over Microsoft bundling Explorer. There's nothing that is forcing you to use it. I was far more upset about Apple bundling iTunes with Quicktime. I can't count the number of times I had to delete iTunes after installing Quicktime on Windows machines. This is a non story. Get back to me when they limit hard drive size and force you to use cloud storage. I'll be the first one to drop Mac.
    • by lightknight (213164) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:12AM (#40049323) Homepage

      Yes, sadly, we are this *holds up index finger & thumb, presses the two tightly together* close to finally segmenting Apple users from the rest of the technological universe; and when that is done, nothing of value will be lost.

      Now if only we could convince them that they need Apple's latest invention, the iBrain, complete with 6PB of storage space (for all those memories you want to keep), and the iWallet (more of it 'Just Works,' now with automatic withdrawals to any vendor who can guess your pet's nickname), we will never have to hear from them again.

      • by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:42AM (#40049407) Homepage

        Yes, sadly, we are this close to finally segmenting Apple users from the rest of the technological universe; and when that is done, nothing of value will be lost.

        I think that's a bit harsh -- the Linux users are still useful to have around, if only to keep the web servers running.

        (ducks)

  • by romanval (556418) on Friday May 18, 2012 @09:50PM (#40048303)
    the your documents on Google Docs or Office 365 (aside from the apps residing on the host CPU instead of a web app).
  • Anticompetetive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:05PM (#40048393)
    Any way you slice it, this is unethical. Restricting usage of an API to developers who sell through your platform (and thus give you 30%), giving your own private cloud service filesystem level integration... Imagine if Microsoft made either of these moves.
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:06PM (#40048399) Homepage Journal
    OK. If you use an iOS device all your app comes through the Apple App store. So there is no change there. On Mac OS, 10.8 no one really knows what this OS is going to do. iCloud is fluid. For instance, MobileMe is shutting down in less than 45 days. I have not moved yet. Apple has however setup my mail so that I can use the mobileme interface. This was not something that was supposed to happen, but it did.

    The point is that on Mac Apple is clearly going to pushing developers to use the App store, which is what is happening right now. The benefit to users is that the App will appear on all registered computers. The problem is that it is a walled garden. WIll developers have to use the API to store documents on iCloud? WHo knows? WHat I do know is that if it provides integration between iOS and Mac devices, there wil be little complaints.

    What I also believe is that users are not going to be using the documents part of iCloud very much. It will quickly require payments to apple as the data grows. The real part of iCloud that streangths the garden wall is that content bought from apple is stored for free.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:08PM (#40048425) Homepage

    With both Snow Leopard and Lion, I had to hack a file just to enabled TRIM on my Intel SSD. I have a feeling I'll have to do that again if I upgrade. Unless they've made attempts to correct that little "exploit".

    Apple makes a good product, but only if you buy everything through Apple. I'm quite honestly surprised they even made replacing an HDD with a non-Apple brand even possible. I know some IBM Thinkpads will bitch at POST unless the drive's firmware has been signed by IBM.

  • Grab Apple (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kawabago (551139) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:10PM (#40048431)
    That wall keeps business out too. The problem with walls is that everything just grows around them and what's contained becomes irrelevant.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:17PM (#40048467)

    They want it to Just Work. They want to buy it, plug it in, go pointy-clicky and have it work. People have an expectation that computers and technological devices (tablets, phones, etc) work without screwing around with them.

    • by lightknight (213164) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:00AM (#40049281) Homepage

      Yes. In fact, we here this from the same crowd that used AOL (another walled garden). People who believe that ignorance is a strength.

      Seriously, it takes less than a week of learning to know how to do 90% of the normal tasks with a computer. And yet these people are fighting it, for what reasons no one can figure out. Might as well as for a car with one button (no steering wheel, no pedals, no dials).

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:49AM (#40049433)
        But it takes a year to learn what to do if anything goes wrong in even the slightest way. I've ended up as the family tech-support - I long ago lost count of how many times I have been summoned because 'the internet is down' only to discover Mother had knocked the wireless on/off button or put the browser into offline mode, and we went through a Week of Hell when some wannabe hacker tried to break into her email account and triggered gmail's automatic lockout.
        • by lightknight (213164) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:02AM (#40049481) Homepage

          Dude, using a computer is like driving a car, or performing CPR, or riding a bicycle, or learning how to swim. You do it once, you get it over with, you move on with life.

          Now, it's true that I do not know your family; I do not know what would prevent them from learning what is considered an essential skill to life (I struggle with my own family). However, I might offer that it's because of learned helplessness, that because you are always there, that they've never felt the need to learn.

          Perhaps we need to impress upon them that tech support is not our vocation. It's simply a favor, and not one that may be asked of us incessantly.

          Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life; If you offer to teach a man to fish, but he says he much prefers you do the fishing for him, while he does the eating...well, you swiftly realize what kind of relationship you have there.

    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @01:11AM (#40049319)

      Honestly, that's why I bought my first mac over 10 years ago. I wanted a Unix based laptop where all the hardware actually worked and since I've never really looked back. Why? Because for 10 years my macs have pretty much stayed out of my way and let me get work done. Which is something I've grown even more appreciative of as I've gotten older and want to spend time doing things other than messing with computers. Mac App Store, great, let's me know when app updates come out. Also guess what, I bought Cyberduck through the App store. I've used the program for years always meaning to donate, but that was a hassle through paypal since I don't link Paypal to my bank account. With the App store, it was one click and I was more than happy to give the cyberduck project money for their years of work. If updates for the apps I use on a regular basis it lets me know that an update is available with a pretty good overview of what changes have been made.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:20AM (#40049539) Journal

      And how does restricting apps that don't come from the Mac App Store from using iCloud help further those goals?

  • But not this. They are providing a free network support service to vendors that sell through their store. Seems obvious, ethical, and fair. Dropbox is better and simpler anyway because all apps can use it with no API; however Dropbox SELLS its service and gives it away for free as a loss leader.

  • Skydrive? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:25PM (#40048519)

    Isn't this pretty much exactly how Skydrive works, and isn't that being integrated into Windows 8? Nobody has been complaining about that...

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy.gmail@com> on Friday May 18, 2012 @11:15PM (#40048809)

    YOU are geeks / nerds / techies / whatever label you prefer. Apple does not even count you as part of their customer base.

    Apple is selling the coolest tech for largest market segment. You buy an apple device and it JUST FUCKING WORKS out of the box. and like it or not that is what people want. They don't want to have to do what you love to do and they HATE doing.

    They want a device that just does what they need to do, and like it or not apple devices do just that.

    • I was dropping off a bunch of Apple keyboards (I manage a bunch of Mac labs for a school among other things) at the Apple Store. Never had a Dell keyboard die, but that is another story/rant.

      You should tell that to the less than two customers who came in with 4s's with stuck/broken home buttons.

      Sent with my Galaxy Nexus (which also just works)

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:11AM (#40049073)

    These alarmist act like we can't do the same thing now with Dropbox and not be tied to a particular OS.

    I use my dropbox account way more than my iCloud.

  • Easy = Bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:23AM (#40049113)

    Only on Slashdot would making software usage "easier and more common" be seen as a bad thing.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:51AM (#40049645)
    What I have wanted to ask macheads for a while is, do you see any need for MacOS 11 yet?

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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