Apple iCloud may see storage upgrade, Instagram-like social sharing

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference is coming in mid June, so you know that the rumours are beginning to fly fast and furious.

This week, the rumour of choice is that Apple may be upgrading iCloud with full blown photo-sharing social network features similar to Instagram. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the new features will allow “iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them… Apple is trying to better compete in the red-hot market for photosharing.”

That’s a market currently dominated by Facebook’s Photos feature and Instagram, so it makes sense that Apple would want to move in that direction. Phil Schiller famously quit the Instagram network when it was opened up to Android users, so a home-grown replacement could be just the ticket to restore that homogeneity.

Apparently Apple is due to make other iCloud upgrades as well, including allowing access to Notes and Reminders through iCloud.com.

They’re also looking at increasing the amount of storage space available for iCloud users, although the high cost is making them quite cautious in doing so. The iCloud service was noted to have 125 million users in a Q2 earnings call made by Apple back in April, so any storage space upgrade would be certainly be a costly endeavour for Apple.

iCloud currently offers 5 GB of space for free, compared to the 2GB of Dropbox and 7 GB of Microsoft SkyDrive, so an increase in storage space isn’t yet essential. Of course, it’s the case for the Samsung Galaxy S3 that 50 GB of Dropbox storage is included for free – could we see a similar free upgrade for buyers of the iPhone 5?

WWDC should definitely be quite an event this year – among rumours of iCloud upgrades, the iPhone 5 and Retina display MacBook Pros, there’s a lot to look forward to. The conference begins on June 11th and runs until June 15th, so check in then for all of the latest announcements.

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William Judd has written 52 articles on this blog.

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