Apple Vs. Google: The Great Cloud War
You wouldn’t have expected it a few years ago, as Apple and Google were focusing on different sectors of the tech industry. In some cases, they actually created technologies that could benefit from each other. However, the two giants are just about ready to go toe-to-toe with each other nowadays.
This has been prompted by Google’s Android OS being the only decent challenger to Apple’s iOS dominance. Additionally, Google and Apple have competing cloud computing platforms, which may serve the same purpose but are vastly different in their philosophical approach. Let’s take a closer look at the two cloud services.
The Google Cloud
The main takeaway from Google’s cloud computing strategy is that they are banking on a future in which broadband internet access is both low cost and available to every single person who needs to use their cloud service and apps. This is because Google’s apps are all connection dependent and can only be used if you are connected to the Internet. Additionally, you need to have fairly decent broadband speeds in order to take full advantage of their best features, such as simultaneous editing of files in Google Docs, where you can see coworkers’ changes happening in real time.
Google’s approach to virtualization is certainly idyllic, and would be a boon to every single cloud user. Unfortunately, it’s not yet fully feasible in today’s world, as there are a lot of places where high-speed internet access is neither available nor financially profitable. In order for Google’s vision to come true, there are changes needed in outside factors. This includes competition in the big markets and stronger public–private partnerships in the smaller ones.
Now that Google has started making critical apps available offline, it seems that they’re aware of the hurdle they must cross. However, the industry is not yet ready for Google’s vision of cloud computing, and it will not be ready in as little as a couple of years, so Google shouldn’t treat offline access as a mere afterthought.
The Apple Cloud
Apple’s cloud computing, on the other hand, is different from the Google cloud computing service in the sense that it’s not a huge remote pool of resources that will run all of your apps for you. It merely functions as control center that makes sure that data is streamed to devices on schedule and to the right destination. Basically, Apple’s cloud computing merely orchestrates data streams instead of serving as a proxy controller and producer. Apple’s cloud computing is a central repository for files instead of a virtual remote computer.
Which One is Better?
The main difference between the cloud computing approaches of Google and Apple boils down to this. Google’s cloud computing contains all the apps that you need, and your PC only works as a controller for their cloud computing resources. Apple’s cloud, on the other hand, only works as a remote storage of sorts, in which the data is still saved on your device’s storage and the apps will use your device’s main resources and sync files and data back and forth between local storage and the Apple cloud computing.
Apple’s approach may be more practical today, due to the limitations of internet infrastructure. However, in 5 to 10 years, when (or if) super broadband speeds finally become a reality for the majority of the world, Google’s approach may be more practical as it sheds the hassles of syncing.
At the end of the day, deciding which one is the better cloud computing provider boils down to which approach you think is better: Google’s special preference for the Web, or Apple’s special preference for your devices.
By Kamil Nakhasi
Kamil is an accomplished UK technology writer now living overseas. Kamil currently makes his living writing and editing professionally online.