New Time Capsules Rather Than Apple's Servers to Act as Hub for iCloud Data Syncing?

time capsule leap forward
Cult of Mac reports that it has received information indicating that revamped versions of Apple's Time Capsule wireless router/hard drive combination will serve as the hub for iCloud data syncing, with data stored directly on the device rather than on Apple's servers.

Our source didn't have any information about the hardware, but detailed how the Home Folder access system works. Files saved on your computer are backed up instantly to Time Capsule, which makes them available to remote Macs and iOS devices.

If you make any changes on any computer, those changes are updated through iCloud and stored on your Time Capsule. The Time Capsule archives and serves up your files even when your computers are off. When you get home and fire up your desktop computer or laptop, the files are automatically synced across your devices.

This service will also allow you to upload photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to your Time Capsule. The media will be stored on the device and be made available for other devices to sync. iCloud is the "conduit" through which everything moves, the source said.

"Your computer gets backed up to Time Capsule anyways," said the source. "Now it'll serve up your content when you want it, where you want it, right there on your iOS device."

The source reports that this implementation of a local iCloud is "fully baked" and ready for deployment in future versions of Mac OS X and iOS, although there has been no hint of the functionality in developer seeds of Mac OS X Lion seen thus far. It is also unclear how such a system would integrate with the iCloud music streaming service, as a number of reports in the mainstream media suggested more of a true cloud-based system for that aspect of things, with Apple able to scan users' iTunes libraries and simply provide streaming access to those tracks from any device connected to the user's iCloud.

As noted by MyService, Apple's idea of a local cloud network dates back twenty years, with Steve Jobs having detailed some of the advantages of such a setup during a Q&A session at WWDC in 1997. (Discussion begins at around 13:10 mark.)


Cult of Mac's claims harken back to a report from The Loop's Jim Dalrymple back in mid-February in which he claimed that cloud-based strategy for a revamped MobileMe would in fact be focused on streaming data from users' machines rather hosting it directly on Apple's servers. A local cloud stored on a Time Capsule device would seem to be a middle-of-the-road solution offering much of what Dalrymple proposed while avoiding the need to keep a source computer awake and running for the service to function.

We'll certainly be learning more about iCloud tomorrow as Steve Jobs takes the stage for the keynote at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the keynote via MacRumorsLive and Twitter.

Top Rated Comments

Wurm5150 Avatar
126 months ago
FAIL! If iCloud requires everyone to buy Time Capsule for it to work..
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VaatiKaiba Avatar
126 months ago
Forgive me if I'm wrong and being silly, but why are new TCs needed for this? Couldn't this be implemented through a software update on older models?

And doesn't this sound more like 'Back to my Time Capsule' instead of iCloud?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klrobinson999 Avatar
126 months ago
It's going to fail if people have to buy yet another component.

From a tech perspective it does seem ideal: localized cloud storage, backed-up to the web, accessible without the need for any other device to be running (such as the need to have your Mac powered up to access your iTunes library on the Apple TV). Throw in the fact that you'll be able to access that Time Capsule from anywhere and on any 3G or Wi-Fi network (assumed), and you've got a winner.

However, people will scoff at having to purchase another device. They better make it $99 if the want to sell any.

Will they eliminate Airport Extremes altogether and just offer one combo Time Capsule wireless access point/backup storage device? Since this is a completely new endeavor - a web-based personal server - I assume the product may get a new name.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ivladster Avatar
126 months ago
uh

I hope you can plug a hard drive to AirPort Extreme and have an iCloud too. Really don't want to buy another router just for this.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stridemat Avatar
126 months ago
The Time Capsule as your own personal server. It's been waiting to do this since it was introduced.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gregintosh Avatar
126 months ago
I think this setup involving a TC to make things faster/smoother on the LOCAL NETWORK ONLY is genius.

If I want to play some music or movies via iCloud that I have stored in my home folder, I could stream them right off my own network so its faster and doesn't eat up my bandwidth cap.

But everything still needs to be really in the cloud too. What if I am a traveling sales person and my router at home shuts off for some reason, the HD fails, or another problem arises. I still need access to my files.

Plus, I bet Apple's servers will have much better upload speeds than my connection, so accessing "iCloud" on the go is going to be terrible unless I am getting the files off of Apple's servers.

And what if someone breaks into my house and steals my TC or there's a fire and it's destroyed. I have just lost all my files. That means I would need another backup solution. For me, the whole point of a cloud solution is so that I don't need to worry about losing my files again, which again the TC-only setup would fail at.

Now if iCloud is smart enough to figure out when I am at home and thus use my local storage (TC) or if I am outside and therefore use Apple's own servers, and it can do so seamlessly, now that's an improvement over DropBox and any other Cloud service.

At that point, Synching is not going to be an issue at home at all, since local speeds are super fast. And by the time I hit the road, I am sure that TC would have uploaded all the files in the background by then to the real iCloud.

So if this whole TC thing is that if you have a new one, it will make iCloud EVEN BETTER, then it's GENIUS.

If this whole TC thing IS the iCloud and you must have it on to share your files at all times, then its an EPIC FAIL.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...