Why iCloud Will Make iMacs And MacBooks Into Niche Devices [Opinion] | Cult of Mac

Why iCloud Will Make iMacs And MacBooks Into Niche Devices [Opinion]


Photo by BenDibble - http://flic.kr/p/5w5kHh
Photo by BenDibble - http://flic.kr/p/5w5kHh

If you heard the sound of nails being driven into the PC and Mac coffin Monday, you weren’t imaging things.

“We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced. That theme was repeated in comments by other executives of the consumer tech giant. The Mac line of computers is no longer the hub of all Apple devices. The Post-PC era has begun.

Noting the number of people who want to use the iPad as their primary device, Apple’s Forstall said: “We are ushering in the post-PC world.” The iPad isn’t seen as an adjunct device to your Mac or PC, but as a primary computing platform. Your Mac or PC, says Forstall, is a legacy device, much like your appendix: it’s just no longer needed.

“You used to go back to a computer to create calendars or delete calendars. You can create or delete calendars right from iOS,” the Apple exec said. The list gets longer by the day as applications once thought only the domain of Macs and PCs. Even the concept of the computer being a “digital hub” for other devices, like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Jobs realized the problem as each device gained the power of the Mac to store photos, music and more. “Keeping these devices in synch is driving us crazy,” he told the San Francisco crowd. The answer: No more connecting to the computer — wireless syncing starts with iOS 5.

That brings us to iCloud, the service that make the Post PC era possible.

“We’re going to move the digital hub into the cloud,” Jobs said. Available this fall, you’ll be able to store your music, photos, apps, mail and all digital data on iCloud.

First Apple removed the need for Mac apps, bringing them to iOS. Now the company eliminates the need for a core hard drive, giving that role to iCloud. This leave the Mac and PC as only a shell of large displays and keyboards. Is that enough reason to buy a new PC?

The answer is obvious. After purchasing an iPad, my use of a trusty iMac is limited only to work – only because a keyboard dock is needed. Family and friends, talking about their next tech purchase, don’t ooh and aah about laptops, but tablets. This changing demand likely puts iMacs and other desktop Macs into a specialized use category, like a Mac Pro Xeon server. After all, do you need a 27-inch screen to read e-mail or play Angry Birds or even correct family photos?

As for laptops, the tasks they were designed for closely match the iPad, and that category of computing device will also fade away. This is the Post-PC era we will see – and one society has been slowly adopting for years. What do you think?

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