Sometimes having the same thing twice is nice: that sweater you love or an extra toothbrush, you know, just in case. But having two similarly named photo synching and sharing applications – Google+ Photos and Google Photos – that pretty much do the same thing is a bit, well, redundant. And so, Google announced yesterday that it plans to send Google+ Photos to pasture with all the other outdated and seldom used apps and programs that came before it.
Drowned out in all the hullabaloo over Apple’s unveiling of the next iPad was its announcement that its cloud storage of movies had gone live. Those who have bought movies from iTunes can now stream their films onto their Apple devices. Two studios, though — 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures — aren’t letting their films come out and play for now.
Amazon, Google and other companies that allow users to store their music on cloud servers are within the law, according to a federal judge who ruled that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 protects the business model. The judge ruled in favor of cloud storage service MP3tunes, which was sued by record label EMI.
Looking to edge in on the turf shared by Amazon, Google and Apple, Best Buy unveiled its own cloud music service, which lets users access their songs stored on remote storage through various devices.
During this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced its new cloud storage service, the creatively named iCloud. To grossly oversimplify the matter, iCloud is an evolution of Apple’s three-year-old MobileMe service …except that iCloud doesn’t cost $99 per year. It will be free, unless you want to sync music between devices that you didn’t buy from iTunes. (That costs $25 per year.) Apple plans to kill MobileMe on June 30, 2012, and current members won’t have to pay to renew their subscriptions. That’s pretty great, unless you’re a subscriber who handed over a hundred bucks to renew just a few weeks ago.
When cable company execs unwind at home, probably in front of Netflix-streamed videos like most everyone else, they no doubt daydream about ways to seize some of Netflix’s market share-gobbling momentum. After all, it seems the old “overcharge for hundreds of channels no one really wants so they can get the few that they do” plan is losing steam. An idea cooked up by Time Warner Cable, though, seems so promising it must be too good to be true.