iOS 5 finally syncs wirelessly.
Although predictable, this marks a milestone in the inevitable shift of communications from wired to wireless. From tethered to always connected. We’re entering the age where wireless data connectivity becomes the fourth most important commodity in the world (not to dis food, water and energy).
While I’m as eager to experiment with the latest gadget as the next guy, I find that the obligations of ownership ultimately outweigh the benefits for all but those few exceptionally well designed products entitled to earn an enduring place in everyday life. Since setting up my iPad a year ago, I’ve synched it with my computer exactly, um… ZERO times. it’s not that I wouldn’t like to get all that great new music my wife has since purchased, or that don’t think it would be a good idea to backup regularly, but I’ve configured it so that all my important work tasks are live synched wirelessly to the cloud and everything else is, well, not worth the hassle.
With iOS 5, Apple has realized that everyone else (i.e. Google, Dropbox, Evernote) has gone “over the top” and the tethered to iTunes model is no longer a source of lock-in for them (remember “podcasts?”). True to the spirit of successful companies, Apple is willing to let go of the past and hurry iTunes to obsolescence with iCloud rather than pining for better days gone by.
So WiFi has suddenly saturated in our home. We live in a world that used to conserve bandwidth at all costs, now the equation has changed and battery is the scarce resource. Bandwidth is a scalable resource, sometimes free and sometimes obscenely expensive (think roaming). While compute and storage are, well, practically free in the cloud.
Zero maintenance means products which sport intelligent wireless behaviour. Behaving differently depending on availability and cost of bandwidth.
This all conspires to make wireless data bandwidth the source of value, and why you’ll see iNovia funding companies that speak to it…