WSJ: Apple Preparing Upgrade to iCloud


Jessica E. Vascellaro reports for The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc.’s push into online services is about to gain some steam.

The maker of the iPhone and iPad is preparing a big upgrade to its online service iCloud that includes new photo-sharing features, according to people familiar with the matter.

The new features, which could be announced at Apple’s world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them, these people said. Currently, users can store only one set of photos in iCloud through a feature called Photo Stream, which is designed to sync those photos to other Apple devices, not share them.

Although a mention from The Wall Street Journal often offers sound endorsement of swirling rumors, Vascellaro’s article is utterly filled with uncertain diction. Specifically, Vascellaro repeatedly qualifies her statements with the word, “could.”

Thanks to the various shreds of evidence toward the aforementioned enhancements, I tend to believe reports of personal video syncing and photo-sharing. Having said that, the overarching tone of the WSJ article is outrageously subpar. For a publication known for its grounded manner, connections, and insight, Vascellaro’s piece throws such tenets to the wind, and embraces the reiteration of rumor and little more.

Journalistic quality aside, I feel somewhat apprehensive toward the impending photo commenting feature. Sharing is one thing, but offering the ability to comment seems unnecessary and open for failings. Apple has tried to undercut the relevance of various social networks in the past, but its efforts have often fallen flat. I’m looking forward to easier photo-sharing — and perhaps a fix to the veritable mess that is PhotoStream — but I worry somewhat that Apple might overstep its bounds in doing so.

Conversely, Apple’s rollout of iCloud has been measured and cautious — particularly compared with MobileMe. Perhaps Apple has learned its lesson?

We shall soon find out.