PC Free: No Computer Needed for iOS 5 Devices

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
120 months ago
Grandparents of the world: rejoice!!

(And we grandchildren who previously provided tech support: really rejoice!!)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
Wireless backups. Yay! such a nice feature that is.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 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
120 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)
Avatar
120 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
120 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)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...