Is Apple’s iCloud an Unsocial Network?

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Michael Cohen, writing at TidBITS, thinks so.

So don’t look to iCloud as it evolves for best of breed collaborative software, for media sharing flexibility, for services that foster and promote community. Apple has always been a personal computer company; group hugs are not in its DNA.

He notes something I’ve pointed out several times when writing about Apple IDs and iTunes Store accounts:

Related Apple services and their limitations mirror the me-ness of iCloud. Your iTunes account is associated with a single Apple ID, and makes no real provision for families or even for transferring ownership. If a couple breaks up, or a child goes away to school, the media obtained from one iTunes account can’t be divvied up the way books and videotapes and DVDs and Blu-rays and CDs and LPs can. It’s one owner, now and forever.

1 reply
  1. Chris says:

    Why assume Apple is behind all the limitations on an AppleID? My guess is it is more about what the media companies required to allow Apple access to their titles. I can imagine the price Apple negotiates would be much higher if the record companies made an assumption that 3.4 people would be able to load a song on their iPods vs just one which would lower their potential for an additional sale from another family member. There is no way these content owners didn’t have mandates about how flexible Apple could be with customer sharing. In fact, I’m sure this is also why an account can’t be transferred even after someone dies…the media companies are thinking this could cancel out a future purchase.

    The contracts probably also restrict Apple from making any public comments about this to defend themselves from those who just assume they are putting these rules in place just for fun and that they don’t understand that customers get frustrated over these limitations.


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