Seamless content management. Storage outside your hardware. Ubiquitous access to your content. That's the premise for both the iCloud and Ubuntu One for phones.
Cloud computing is the concept of having your files put online on a virtual storage space so that one – you don't have to worry about hard drive space, and two – you can access it anywhere, anytime.
We look at two cloud storage providers and put them head-to-head on some important categories in considering online file storage. On one side, we have the popular Apple iCloud, which helps users of Apple devices access AppStore products like music and e-books offline. And on the other, there’s the Ubuntu One cloud, a rising competition in cloud computing with the release of the new Ubuntu for phones, adding to Ubuntu’s reach on PCs and laptops.Comparison Points:
1. Reliability – With Apple's image of not allowing just any developer to create content for its devices, Apple has the edge of being virus free, and secure because a stolen Apple device can be tracked using theft protection software like Hidden. Ubuntu runs using Linux openware, which is available to app developers, virus hackers, and offers less protection from theft.
2. Price – The first 5GB of memory for both the iCloud and Ubuntu One cloud is free. No point of comparison there. But what if you want more space? Moving up to an additional 20GB of space would cost $39.99 for the Ubuntu cloud, while an upgrade to get the same amount of storage is valued at $40 for the iCloud. A penny difference. And don't argue about Ubuntu's free music streaming for 6 months. There's no limit to song previews at the Apple Store.
3. Cloud Capability – This is ability of your cloud to let your access your data anywhere. The very reason why you have a cloud service. The Ubuntu cloud allows you to access your Ubuntu-designed company e-mail anywhere, on any device that connects to the cloud. Apple itself does not have its own e-mail service and does not allow multiple users into one iCloud account.
4. Business – While Apple currently does not have any business solutions support available, the maximum storage capacity of 100GB allow small businesses to work with it. The Ubuntu cloud, however offers a private cloud program which gives companies the chance to modify the service to fit their needs. Just check Ubuntu's main website.
5. Memory – Oh, with a similar price for additional storage, you didn't think we'd talk about memory, didn't you? One thing separates what you store on the iCloud from what you can put on an Ubuntu cloud: iTunes. When you download a song using iTunes, the weight of a song does not add to your iCloud storage. It's a separate thing.
6. Personalization – Ubuntu is an open source type of operating system, coming from the Linux family. Using a readily available code, you can design and create applications for yourself, and put them in the cloud to be accessed anywhere. For Apple, all the apps you have, are all the ones you downloaded from the App Store. Unless you are a licensed developer for Apple, you can't have personalized apps on the cloud.
With a clear win on 4/6 categories, it looks like the Ubuntu One cloud is a few steps ahead of the Apple iCloud. But we should never underestimate the service of an Apple. With other companies like Windows introducing their own cloud services, the iCloud, with all it's brand strength and the market-hold it possesses, is soon to catch up.
Editor's note: Apple's iCloud is specifically for Apple's devices. And it's a complete ecosystem which caters well to the individual user seamlessly. Ubuntu One doesn't have the same user-friendly capability or the ecosystem feel that Apple's iCloud does.
Author Bio: Vanessa Parks is a Freelance Systems Analyst with 5 Years of solid experience. She has been an advocate of Desktop virtualisation for improved work efficiency and performance. She also has a passion in dancing, cooking and playing golf.