I kind of know what cloud computing is. People have talked about it for a couple of years now, and I understand it's a Good Thing. It means, for example, I don't have to pay high, fixed costs to manage the bandwidth I need for my digital marketing campaigns. It means that some of the applications I run are less prone to gum up. But my view of cloud computing is pretty much this:
If I work hard at it I get it, but it's complicated, somewhat abstract and entirely related to my professional life.
Last weekend though I had one of those epiphanies. I've recently been downloading books to read on my iPad. I'm halfway through a book, and on Saturday I was out and about without my iPad but with my iPhone. I had a bit of time to kill so I idly clicked on the iBook app on my phone and my jaw dropped. Not only did the phone share the library I've created on the iPad, but the book I was currently reading was open, and to the page I had reached on the iPad an hour earlier while I sat reading in my living room. I didn't do anything. I didn't synch, I didn't Bluetooth, I didn't Bump. I just said 'yes' to iCloud when I set the two devices up and Apple looked after the rest.
As storage gets cheaper and bandwidth increases we'll get more and more used to consuming content wherever and however we want it. Eventually we'll figure out the open standards required to make seamless content work whatever we're consuming it on, but as usual Apple are the first to figure out how to make it easy for everyone.
Apple's proprietary platforms will eventually put an upper limit on the reach of iCloud, but for now it's a formidable competitive advantage. It's a service that makes the Apple ecosystem more compelling.
And best of all, I now understand a bit more about cloud computing.