How iCloud is Like Amazon’s WhisperSync

Ben Bajarin / October 21st, 2011

One of the interesting features I am picking up on iCloud is not the usual data syncing but how some apps are integrating iCloud. A good example of this is with games that are built to support iCloud.

Games or apps in general that are built or updated to support iCloud bring with them the ability to know where the consumers last usage point was and let them pick up where they left off on other devices.

This is a feature similar to Amazon’s WhisperSync with e-books, also a feature built into iBooks now, that lets you pick up where you left off of any book on whichever device you choose.

Clearly there is a great deal of value to the consumer to be able to use the same app on multiple devices and always be able to pick up where they left off. Some apps, like games for example, this is more practical for but I expect developers to find more creative ways to use iCloud app syncing in the future.

What is strategic about this for Apple is that this feature begins to become more valuable the more iOS devices you have.

If all I had was my iPhone then I would never be in a position to use the app on any device but my iPhone. Therefore, the need for apps to sync my last position isn’t all that necessary. This feature becomes more valuable, as does iCloud, the more iOS devices I own. The more possible devices I have in my personal ecosystem the more something like iCloud becomes valuable.

The game experience has been extremely useful and for the time being has encouraged me to play more games knowing I can pick up where I left off on another iOS device. This is the case in many times where as I play a game on iPhone and then when I get home I want to play the game on my iPad.

I can see value in this with music and perhaps video also. Suppose I was watching a TV show at Starbucks on my iPhone, because it was the only screen I had with me, then when I get home I want to pick it up where I left off on my iPad. I can see a great deal of value in that experience.

Given that iOS and iCloud are so new, I imagine that over time we will see these experiences get better and more comprehensive.

In many ways we are just scratching the surface with the personal cloud concept and I am excited to see where it goes.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio
  • Rich

    When iCloud becomes available on cellular networks, I’m wondering what kind of data charges people will run up on the networks as they send games, movies, music, and videos to all their devices. That could be a lot of data!

    • iCloud is mostly restricted that it does transfers only under Wi-Fi (I think it does calendar and contact updates over the WAN, but those don’t involve much data.)

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