Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to have Cloud Storage?

Feb 20, 2011 - 6 Comments

mac-os-x-lion-cloud-storage-patent

More Mac OS X rumors! An Apple patent has surfaced that gives credence to the idea that the next version of Mac OS X 10.7 will feature some kind of cloud storage capability. Last summer OSXDaily speculated the next version of Mac OS X would feature some sort of cloud support, this was based on a job opening at Apple’s Mac OS X team that emphasized technologies that are critical to cloud support. Will Pearson described how the job opening related to the cloud:

The biggest hint in the job posting is the favoring of candidates who have experience developing with “internet technologies and services” and more tellingly “participated in or lead the architecture of large web scale systems” with HTTP protocol experience. This naturally leads to the assumption that Mac OS X 10.7 will indeed have Cloud features built into the foundation of the operating system. HTTP and XHTML5 are core elements in the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) spec and are integral parts in most existing cloud computing services and platforms. When you combine this knowledge with recent news that Apple is building a massive 500,000 square foot data center, there is little room left to wonder what Apple is up to.

Now, seven months later, PatentlyApple has discovered a patent that may describe just how last summers job opening and Mac OS X “revolutionary feature” could tie into Mac OS X Lion. Dubbed “Safe Deposit Box”, the newly patented Mac OS X feature describes a way for the operating system to store certain files off-site, safely in a cloud environment and accessible from anywhere. PatentlyApple suggests how this may relate to day-to-day users:

One of the key attributes or selling points of Apple’s Safe Deposit Box Application or OS X feature is that your digital valuables could be stored “off site” or beyond the home computer to safeguard your digital valuables which could be something like a Will or Living Will, agreements, life insurance policies, home insurance policies, a simple home inventory list or video or perhaps something that’s really valuable to most every iTunes fan: a copy of your iTunes Library.

The idea of an iTunes cloud and streaming has been popularized through, of all things, iPhone 5 & iPhone Mini and wireless syncing rumors, which have strongly suggested that wireless syncing and streaming of your iTunes library is coming via a future free version of MobileMe. This creates the obvious question; if your iPad and iPhone with iOS will wirelessly sync to MobileMe, why wouldn’t Mac OS X and your Mac hardware too? It’s just a patent, but it suggests cloud-based streaming and syncing might just make an appearance in a future version of Mac OS X, maybe even Mac OS X 10.7, which is due for release this summer.

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Posted by: Matt Chan in Mac OS X, News, Rumor

6 Comments

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  1. Brian says:

    This would be awesome but how would Apple give this away for free? Free storage for certain files or backups, and then iTunes streaming from your Mac to your iPhone? The infrastructure to do so costs a fortune, how can they just give this away? It would be a dream if it was free!

  2. David says:

    This is probably how this will work:

    * Enable iTunes cloud syncing on your Mac with simple on/off switch like Time Machine backups

    * iOS 5 automatically syncs to your iTunes cloud

    * Play song/video on iPhone, iTunes cloud will stream to the iPhone on demand from your library floating in the interwebs

    This will work just like Time Machine with seamless caching to the iTunes cloud, you won’t have to set anything on your own, just turn it on or off Time machine style.

    Apple makes things easy, there is no way they will create a separate folder on your desktop like DropBox that you have to log in and out of to backup and sync data. Don’t take the patent drawings literally, it’s too complicated for most users. Simplify, this is what Apple does best. Time Machine is the easiest backup software in the world, this is how iTunes cloud will work too.

  3. Joe says:

    That report thinks that Apple may accomplish this via MobileMe if Apple wanted to justify MobileMe’s annual fee. I think that angle is the one that will win out.

  4. David says:

    I hope they don’t hype this as ‘revolutionary’.

    As a daily user of Dropbox (for free) this functionality has been around for a very long time and is completely integrated.

    Personally I feel mobileme should be killed.

  5. [...] each their own OS, but with the ability to share files and data between them. Throw in some Cloud storage to help keep things in sync, even if they are [...]

  6. Emely Picco says:

    Im currently using Dropbox but I will give the other guys a look now thanks :)

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