A new patent for an Apple service, which may tie in with the Cupertino, California Mac-maker’s existing online MobileMe subscription service, reveals plan for digital cloud-based sotrage for a ‘Safe Deposit Box.’ Discovered by Patentedly Apple, the service will allow users to store data, files, and information securely in the cloud and may either augment, replace, or complement the company’s existing iDisk service that has been an integral part of the MobileMe subscription program.
Industry insiders speculate that the service will see integration with iOS devices, like the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad–devices which so far are limited by the availability of expensive flash memory. Apple has long been rumored to be working on a digital locker service, especially for purchased content from iTunes, for users to stream on demand rather than rely on on-board storage, which is more costly. This will potentially unlock the door to ‘unlimited’ storage without increasing the cost or price of handheld devices, where there are space constraints as well as memory constraints as flash memory is an expensive component of a device’s price. The digital locker service has often been rumored since Apple has been working on a large data center in North Carolina.
Additionally, the service may compete with other online service providers, such as Dropbox and Box.net, both of which allow users to manage, store, and share files online. Apple’s Safe Deposit Box digital locker may be a feature of Apple’s next-generation desktop operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, as well, according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball. This makes sense as Apple’s ultra-portable MacBook Air laptop, like the company’s other mobile offerings, is also memory-constrained. The slim notebook has flash storage, which is expensive, and comes in SSD storage configurations that are far less than the MacBook’s and MacBook Pro’s hard drive options.
While Apple will most likely migrate to the cloud, it’s unclear if the Safe Deposit Box patent will result in a premium or free service offering when it will become available to consumers.
Although users often know to back-up data to a hard drive, many users still do not back-up important data. Apple’s Safe Deposit Box offering can help make it easier for users to back up important, critical data in the event of a hard drive failure, loss of a laptop, or data corruption. The drag-and-drop interface will make it easy for users, while the secure log-in will keep files stored private and secure.
Via: 9to5 Mac