With Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad operating system update already out in the jailbroken world of software, we tell you what you can expect on your own iDevice.Apple released its updated operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touchs, iOS 5, earlier this week to developers. In less than a day, the software was jailbroken – and the developers behind it intend to release the cracked software as soon as iOS 5 is officially released in Spring.
While we covered what was on offer with iOS 5, here we’ll go through what some of the changes practically mean between you, Apple and your iDevice – from music piracy to the elimination of the PC middleman.
First off, the biggest announcement at the World Wide Developers’ Conference was Apple’s step into cloud computing with iCloud. The main change here is in Apple’s business model, which will directly affect all iDevice holders.
Many current cloud computing services deal simply with storage and streaming, but iCloud meshes this to rethink the business model for delivering content.
Once upon a time, you’d need to plug your iPod into a computer to sync with iTunes. Sync contacts to your PC from your iPhone. The list goes on. The new method will be completely wireless, and potentially without any PC at all.
On the business side, there’s money to be made out of music Apple doesn’t actually sell you. While iTunes purchased content can be streamed as usual, for a further US$25 a year, iTunes Match will scan music that’s not purchased from Apple and duplicate a copy on Apple data farms (in the Cloud). From there, you can stream the content onto up to 10 different iOS devices. If you get a new device, you enter your Apple ID and re-sync that – again without a computer.
The big issue is that for this same fee, users can match their own library of songs with those from the 18 million-strong catalogue of iTunes music, where Apple will provide users with DRM-free 256Kbps ACC versions (even if the user’s version is lower quality). No matter where you got the music from to start with (dodgy or not) it’ll be mirrored with iTunes content if Apple can find a match.
The cloud functions also work outside of typical iTunes media, with users who adopt iOS 5 receiving 5GB of free online storage for their mail, documents and device backups (music fortunately doesn’t take a piece of this storage quota).
The service is set to be available in the US to begin with, with an international rollout yet to be announced.
Back to the notion of ditching the PC middle-man, little fixtures have made that possible. When iOS 5 users update their software, they’ll only be downloading the software that’s new. No more downloading giant whole packages like with iTunes PC updates that’d otherwise kill your mobile download quota.