Software above the level of a single device: iCloud

For this week’s blog post, i’ll be discussing the topic of ‘Software above the level of a single device’, which is described in detail within Tim Reilly’s blog.

“Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come.” – Dave Stutz, Microsoft Developer.

I believe the best example of this pattern is Apple‘s ‘iCloud’, which is an amazing cloud based system which enables users to use their Apple ID to keep all their devices and applications in sync. Not only does iCloud backup your personal data (such as contacts and calendar info) it will also back up the following:

  • Device Settings
  • Application Data
  • Home Screen and app organization
  • Purchased music, TV shows, books and apps
  • Photos and Video from the Photo Roll
  • Ringtones
  • Messages (iMessage, Text and MMS)

iCloud comes with 5GB free storage, which purchased media and your photos do not count against. Users can purchase more storage if need be. Although, this does not backup your personal music or videos, for that, you’ll need iTunes Match.

I really do think that iCloud is one of the best examples of software that has been completely designed above the level of a single device, and I think it’s extremely helpful having all my Apple products sync’d together without having to even think about it. Thanks to this new technology, we’re no longer restricted to household PCs and can share and sync our content quicker and easier than ever through our Phones, Laptops and other devices. I make use of iCloud on a daily basis, and it really does provide so much convenience.

One of the only disadvantages i have found with iCloud is it’s relatively small 5GB of storage. Although this can be overcome by purchasing more through Apple, it can be quite pricey.

I also find that iCloud incorporates Web 2.0 patterns such as harnessing collective intelligence and data is the next INTEL inside. iCloud achieves this though it’s shared sync technology which makes content and info constantly available for any device linked under the users Apple ID. It’s just so easy!


About cameronsantry

My names Cameron and i'm 19 years old. I study Business and Information Technology at QUT and I enjoy playing sport and watching movies.
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4 Responses to Software above the level of a single device: iCloud

  1. dickychiu says:

    Hi, thanks for the post.

    I think the disadvantages of iCloud isn’t the limited storage. It also is only apple’s products can having full services of iCloud. Is iCloud really match the Web 2.0 design patterns?

    • Hi dicky, I agree that iCloud not fully supporting other platforms such as Windows, Android, etc. is a bit of a let down but as an avid user of Apple products I still see it as a great example of software above the level of a single device. Sure, it does have it’s downsides but it’s still a really great tool for keep all my devices on the same page!

  2. harrymak444 says:

    iCloud is good for the users sync their Apple devices. also, it can let the users backup their personal information, image and etc. Do you always it to sync your Apple devices?

    There is my last blog. Would you please read it and leave a comment?

  3. Hi Cameron,

    Great post. I like how iCloud has finally brought all of Apple’s ecosystems into one place. However, to me it is hard to see how it will ever take off outside of Apples world considering its walled garden nature.

    How can iCloud take on things such as Dropbox which works across multiple ecosystems and ties into different apps through API’s when iCloud is limited in its application?

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