Instead of media and markets continuously hounding Apple about "what's next?!", there's a case to be made that Apple has already announced several services that could do with a little -- or a lot -- of their attention. It might not be as magical or revolutionary as a fresh name on a big slide, but making what's already here work better could also increase the value of Apple's platform as a whole. At least that's what Joe Cieplinski thinks:
Apple needs to fix their crappy designs and online services. I'm talking about green felt and iCloud sync. No, wait, I'm talking about brushed metal and MobileMe sync. No, wait again, I'm talking about pin stripes and .Mac sync. No... Come on, seriously, I've got this!
iCloud -- specifically the iCloud frameworks for syncing Core Data databases -- has been getting kicked around lately, and by almost all accounts, deservedly so. Back in November developers like Instacast's Vemedio and Steve Streza of Informal Protocol posted about their problems with it and its opacity, and Paul Haddad expressed similar concerns during the second episode of Debug. More so even than Siri and Game Center server issues, it felt like proof positive that Apple faced significant challenges in a future where online services were as important as native software.
Apple has joined the growing list of companies offering two-step verification to secure their accounts. By enabling two-step verification, whenever you attempt to log in on a new device with your Apple ID, you will be asked to enter a 4-digit verification code. This code will be sent to a device that you have registered as a trusted device, such as your iPhone, via a Find My iPhone notification or SMS.
Apple has long been filtering/censoring email messages sent through their service, originally .Mac, then MobileMe, and now iCloud. Charitably, this could be viewed as just another layer of anti-spam, however the lack of transparency remains concerning. This issue was brought back into the spotlight when a Steven G., a developer of screenplay writing software, received a complaint from a customer who was having trouble delivering a script. Robert X. Cringely of Infoworld quotes the developer:
Apple has launched movies through iTunes in the Cloud in eleven European countries. Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden now have access to the service, according to confirmation provided by Apple to The Next Web, allowing them to stream and re-download movies through iTunes.