PC Free: No Computer Needed for iOS 5 Devices

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Thanks to iCloud, with the introduction of iOS 5 this fall, iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad users no longer need to connect their devices to a Mac or PC in order to use them.

Apple is calling the new feature PC Free, and it allows users to activate their devices wirelessly, right out of the box. Future iOS updates can be downloaded over-the-air and iCloud will enable backups of photos, music, contacts, calendars and more -- and allow users to simply type in their AppleID and password to restore a new device from an iCloud backup. That should make Genius Bar device swaps much more convenient as well, not to mention easier and quicker Personal Setup on new iOS devices at Apple Stores.

This is a long-needed feature that should further expand the reach of Apple's devices. Tech-savvy youngsters can buy products for their parents and grandparents without needing to teach them about syncing or for them to even need any other device. The vaunted "digital hub" that Apple introduced with the original iPod nearly 10 years ago, which had the Mac at the center of your digital world with other devices surrounding it, is gone.

Now, Apple's (free!) iCloud service will be the center of everything.

Top Rated Comments

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122 months ago
Grandparents of the world: rejoice!!

(And we grandchildren who previously provided tech support: really rejoice!!)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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122 months ago
Wireless backups. Yay! such a nice feature that is.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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122 months ago
Free software + services = more hardware sales

Apple uses free built-in apps and now iCloud to sell hardware. Google uses free software to sell ads to advertisers.

Which approach do you prefer?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago

No computer needed to start or operate a smartphone. Wow, quite an invention to be proud of. Of course, every other brand of smartphone I have used since the beginning of time was able to be used out of the box - no computer needed, no activation. Just put in your SIM and go. But clearly this is some novelty by Apple.

Not to mention the idiocy of calling supposed invention "PC free", as if Apples own tethering was not the problem in the first place. I mean why not call it "Mac Free". At least that would be honest.

Of course this isnt honest as you are still tethered as you must activate the phone by connecting to Apple anyway - just that now you are tethered to a data center in North Carolina. Which I guess means that we these devices are not even free anyway.

Sometimes you just have to give George Orwell his credit - we are surely living in a "1984" world, only difference is thtat it is a commercial one.


I think the point is that you get backups, media synching and sharing, data synching and sharing, etc. without a PC.

If you've been using smart phones without a computer you've had to get by without these things.

Also, if you're concerned about Big Brother, activation and an optional iCloud is the least of your worries... You certainly don't want to be carrying around any cell phone, smart, dumb, whatever.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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122 months ago
Can we create music/photo smart albums and delete now?

If iOS devices can now exist autonomously and be PC Free, does this mean I can create new smart playlists, change meta data, delete music, create photo albums, smart albums, rate photos, etc all in my iOS device? Because that is really the only reason why I still sync my iPad and a iPhone to my Mac.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
122 months ago
Delta updates = Only the files that have changed are downloaded (like Android updates). Under the current system you need to download a several hundred MB image, so the delta updates will be much smaller.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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