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  • Apple's Push to Sync Everything, Everywhere: Grab & Go

    A new patent application revealed this week shows future Apple plans for an online service that would allow users to sync multiple devices - such as Macs, iPhones, and Apple TVs - making not just files but also live application states portable and accessible wherever they go. The patent may give new clues to the purpose of the massive $1 billion data center Apple is building in North Carolina.

    The filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, dated September 30, 2008, was revealed in a story on AppleInsider today. It describes a system that lets a user sync both personal files and live projects in their applications, so that one could literally pick up where one left off, moving from home computer to iPhone to work computer. The described system could share, for example, content like Safari bookmarks, iTunes content, Time Machine backups, Keynote presentations, or even video game file saves.

    The application describes the intent of Apple's service as being to simplify the decision-making process of what to sync and how:
    Though a user may have access to two similarly capable electronic devices, sharing data between the two devices may involve a number of steps, each of which may vary in difficulty. The process of transferring data between the devices may include many user decisions, such as which data to save, where the data is saved, which formats each device may be capable of processing, how to interconnect the devices for a most effective data transfer, etc. Such complexity may increase the difficulty or time spent transferring data between two electronic devices.
    The service described in the patent would be available both locally - using wireless communication between an iPhone and a Mac or between two iPhones - or globally, using Internet-based "cloud" services to transfer data between two devices that are in different locations. The system would dynamically choose the fastest available connection, making such determinations as whether to connect over the Internet or whether to encrypt the data transfer. The system might also require a that you be within a certain distance from the target device when syncing, and would maintain the "trusted" devices with which syncing is permitted.

    The patent is for the service itself and also for the software that would enable easy and intuitive access. The application describes an iPhone app called "Grab & Go." The app would have user-configurable preferences that would sort user application content and files by type, such as "family," "business," "entertainment," "gaming media," "education," "accounting," etc.

    Earlier this year, Apple broke ground on what has been described as a "big-*** data center: a 500,000 square-foot server farm in Malden, North Carolina. Observers have noted that this facility will be one of the largest data centers in the world, and presaged a major push by Apple into the "cloud computing" space.

    It's clear that Apple's future direction is creating a fabric in which all a person's computing devices - computers, smartphones, netbooks/tablets - could be integrated seamlessly. Obviously, they intend that all these devices should have an Apple logo on them, but if this move is successful, it would be taking cloud computing to the next level by allowing everyday users to truly go location-independent.

    image via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Push to Sync Everything, Everywhere: Grab & Go started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. aekhamsouk's Avatar
      aekhamsouk -
      woo! f-rst!...
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Anywhere? To your computer @ home? I bet it gonna be something like MobileMe that cost 100 bucks a year.
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Did he say ONE BILLION DOLLARS ?
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      not something i would need
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      i had no idea 100 for mobile me? is that the only way to get a mac email address?
    1. iRockish's Avatar
      iRockish -
      Nice, now we know where our money is going
    1. sphangman's Avatar
      sphangman -
      how is this any different from dropbox ? i've got everything sync'd with my phone at the moment with that ...
    1. ripped53's Avatar
      ripped53 -
      Apple and the iphone will soon take over the world....
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      seems like a good idea, but useless and if theres any crazy cost, they can stick it you know where!
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      This will clearly cost 100 million dollars!
    1. nighthawk283's Avatar
      nighthawk283 -
      Useful for some and not for others
    1. Kukag's Avatar
      Kukag -
      Eerrr I wish Apple would just get past the fact that everyone isnt going to goto Mac whether or not their software is compatible with PC's. Honestly I know Apple is doing this to make people want to buy Macs, and I just may to reap the benefits of the Mac but honestly that or make it more afforable who wants to pay over $999 for a 13inch Laptop with minimal specs???

    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      once again sounds good we will see
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Is that a Real Billion (a Million Million) or a Fake Billion (a Thousand Million)?

      And if Apple really wants to take cloud computing to the next level they should make the service free.
    1. midnyt's Avatar
      midnyt -
      Quote Originally Posted by mikerlx View Post
      i had no idea 100 for mobile me? is that the only way to get a mac email address?
      Sadly, even paying for MobileMe won't get you a mac email address anymore.