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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.....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Garden Wall is what it's called by Apple Fanboys. Apple users call it the Jail Wall. That's why your iOS devices need to be jail-broken, not garden-broken.

  • 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)

      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 Lisias (447563)

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

          Until its market share growing starts to stagnate, when they'll use the lock down to milk down the customer for content.

          • by peragrin (659227)

            So just like every other company then?

            I haven't upgraded to lion yet for this reason. I don't want icloud, I want My-cloud. using my servers that aren't open to inspection by government agencies without a warrant.

            the trick is not even android supports that yet.

      • 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.

        • (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)

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

    • by Grayhand (2610049)
      "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.
    • 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 ni

      • by Jeremi (14640)

        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 Nerdfest (867930)

      First one to sell an app through the store that is just a shim interface to iCloud wins. Think that would be allowed in the market? Is it anti-competitive to block it?

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday May 18, 2012 @11:19PM (#40048827)

      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.

      Its about having apps screened and approved not about sales. Free apps (gratis) from the App Store can use iCloud for storage too.

      • Its about having apps screened and approved not about sales. Free apps (gratis) from the App Store can use iCloud for storage too.

        You mean free to the consumer, not free to the developer. The last I checked, there was still an annual fee for being a developer on iOS, even if you were publishing a free app.

    • by Jeremi (14640)

      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.

      Is it access to the API that Apple is restricting, or access to Apple's servers?

      If it's the latter, then I don't see an issue... the server's are Apple's property, and so they can allow or deny access to their servers based on whatever terms they care to come up with.

  • by fermion (181285)
    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, w

  • 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)
    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.

    • 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).

      • 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.
        • 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 i

    • 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.

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

  • by DrRobert (179090) * <rgbuice.mac@com> on Friday May 18, 2012 @10:19PM (#40048481) Homepage

    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.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      While I would like it if it were open to everyone, it actually does make sense. Apple needs to pay for iCloud somehow, and making sure that developers don't get a free ride is the easiest way to do it.

      Furthermore, this is old news. We've known this since Mountain Lion was announced.

  • 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...

  • 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)

      • Excuse me if I find your anecdotal evidence lacking credibility. I have a large number of Mac where I work and they are abused quite regularly. I haven't had these problems you speak of. I do like the USB keyboards from Dell which I use in the server room. I have plenty of spares since the keyboards seem to outlast the Dell computers themselves.
      • I've had one almost-die, but that was due to spilling tea on it. I did discover that those Apple keyboards (at least the wireless ones) are really very hard to repair. Those keycaps do not come off without a fight.
  • 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.

    • The bad thing here is not the use of iCloud as such. It's that the restrictions that come with it tie you in to their ecosystem in other, carefully engineered ways. In this case, once your document is there, you have to get your apps only from Apple sources (iOS/Mac App Store) for them to have access to it.

  • What I have wanted to ask macheads for a while is, do you see any need for MacOS 11 yet?

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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