Back in April, Apple pundits were getting defensive about the "Post PC" era. Steve Jobs had started the discussion back in June, 2010, when he clearly explained that "Post PC" meant most people would no longer have a personal computer at all. Then at the iPad 2 introduction in March, Jobs was again touting the tablet as the harbinger of the "Post PC" era.
1. A lot of criticism -- since the iPad still required a PC for many critical functions including activation, backup and system upgrades.
2. Super defensiveness from folks like John Gruber and Michael Gartenberg.
(M)ost commentators have completely missed the point… and likely failed Latin in High School as well. The iPad and other devices are not here to displace the PC (by which I mean all personal computers, whether they’re Macs or PCs running Windows). In fact, post PC means after PC, a new generation of products that build on the PC. What it doesn’t mean is sans PC, that is, without PC. The personal computer will no doubt be with us for a very long time… but that doesn’t mean we’re not in the post-PC world.
I don’t think over-the-air backups or media syncing are coming soon. Wireless networking just isn’t fast enough. I’m not talking about Wi-Fi syncing over a local network to iTunes running on your Mac or PC — that may well be coming soon, but it wouldn’t solve the “how can these devices be ‘post-PC’ if they require a PC?” problem. We’re not talking about why the iPad needs a USB cable; we’re talking about why it needs a PC, period.
It seems these Apple pundits missed the boat on Steve Jobs actual message: Post PC means Post PC. As part of yesterday's announcements, Apple said iPads and iPhones would no longer need to be connected to PCs for much of anything at all. Activation, synching and backup will all be done via the Internet and the new iCloud service:
iCloud is so much more than a hard drive in the sky. It’s the effortless way to access just about everything on all your devices. iCloud stores your content so it’s always accessible from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.* It gives you instant access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required. iCloud does it all for you.
Free gets you a lot.
When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. And that’s plenty of room, because of the way iCloud stores your content. Your purchased music, apps, and books, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your free storage. That leaves your mail, documents, Camera Roll, account information, settings, and other app data. And since those things don’t use as much space, you’ll find that 5GB goes a long way.
Sometimes defensiveness gets in the way in insight. The Post PC era is rapidly approaching and Apple's in the lead.