iCloud Predictions: Scoring My Crystal Ball

It’s not too often that one gets to make a collection of hefty predictions about Apple’s future direction and then have Apple officially confirm (or, as the case may be, deny) those predictions less than two weeks later. Yet this is exactly what just happened to me.

Two weeks ago, I posted an article titled “Mobile Me to iCloud: Lost in Translation.” In the column, I predicted precisely what services currently available in MobileMe would either survive or die in Apple’s move to iCloud later this year. My predictions were based on my read of the available public record combined with my personal assessment based on years of experience. At the time, Apple had not commented on any of the matters discussed.

Late last week, Apple posted an article titled “Frequently asked questions about the MobileMe transition and iCloud.” The FAQ essentially gave the definitive answer to every one of the issues I had raised.

So…the obvious question is…how did I do? How close to or off the mark were my predictions?

Mostly, they were on target.

My major predictions were that iWeb Publishing, Gallery and iDisk would all be absent from iCloud when it becomes available this fall. I was correct. Apple’s FAQ article confirms that these services are headed for the dustbin.

[Of related interest, Apple revealed that these three services will remain available to current MobileMe members through June 30, 2012 , even if they transition to iCloud earlier. In contrast, immediately after a MobileMe member transitions to iCloud, they will lose access to several other minor MobileMe services: syncing of Mac Dashboard widgets, keychains, Dock items, and System Preferences.]

On a lesser note, I had asserted that both Find My iPhone and syncing of Safari bookmarks would survive the move to iCloud. Correct again. They indeed will be saved.

I predicted that MobileMe’s Backup utility would disappear. The FAQ did not mention this specifically one way or the other, but I believe this is only because it’s taken as a given — as iCloud includes its own new backup feature. So I’m scoring this as correct.

So far so good.

On the question of whether or not iCloud would maintain Web access to Contacts, Calendar, and Mail, I hedged my bets a bit. While I ultimately came down on the negative side (claiming that I expected them to be gone), I expressed some hesitancy, stating: “It’s worth noting that, when Steve mentioned that the three former MobileMe services were being re-written for iCloud, this did not specifically exclude web apps as part of the rewriting.” On a pass-fail scoring, I’d have to list my prediction here as a fail. If more shades of gray are permitted, however, I’d score this one as close to a wash.

Finally, I had predicted that Back to My Mac would disappear. Here is the one instance where I was clearly wrong. Apple confirms that this will remain as part of iCloud.

Overall, I’d say my crystal ball was working very well. I’ll be polishing the glass to keep it ready for the next time I feel the urge to consult it.

[Note: I am unofficially on vacation until July 11. This means that I may post articles during this period — schedule and time permitting. Or I may not. So, if you happen to notice my absence over the next couple of weeks, don’t worry. I’ll be back.]