Apple on Thursday released a new iCloud website. This new website, which is in beta, comes with a revamped background, new Reminders app and more.
Apple’s new iCloud website was first noted by Federico Viticci, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of MacStories, who pointed out the same on Twitter. The timing of this new portal is important as it comes ahead of the expected release of iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina. There are chances that this new iCloud portal would go live around the same time as the iOS 13 and others.
Apple’s new beta version of the iCloud features a plain white interface with smaller icons. It ditches the dynamic, bubbly wallpaper for a flat, black and white design. Also, there is no Settings app, rather an “Account Settings” section.
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Along with the wallpaper, another thing missing is the launchpad icon. Currently, there is no way to go back to the homescreen except for clicking the back button on the browser, or changing the URL name manually. Lack of a back button is probably because the site is in beta, and the final version will have much more enhancements.
In the first section of the Settings page, you get a link to manage your Apple ID and set the preferred language and time zone. Below this, you get information on the iCloud storage and registered devices along with basic security options.
The apps in the beta iCloud are the same as the apps available in the standard iCloud.com website with Keynote, Find Friends, iCloud Drive, Pages, Contacts, Photos, Find iPhone, Mail, Notes and Numbers remaining unchanged. Apple has changed the Reminders app on the new iCloud website, and this new app is similar to the iOS Reminders app.
Moreover, the app allows users to create, view and manage tasks. A few users claim that they were able to use the new Reminders app in the beta. Probably, the new app is available to those who are registered for Apple’s Beta Software Program. Those with access to the new app claim that they are seeing a “Coming Soon” message for the Reminders app.
You can view the new iCloud beta website from this link.
In separate news, a class-action lawsuit was filed a couple of weeks back accusing Apple of false advertising. As per the lawsuit filed with a California court, the company falsely tells customers that its iCloud data is “stored by Apple.” However, the truth is that some data is stored on servers owned by Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Specifically, the lawsuit questions Apple’s iCloud data handling policies and the lack of transparency as to where the customer’s information is being stored. Further, the lawsuit notes that Apple breached customers trust by using its name to sell iCloud subscriptions and misleading customers to believe that the data would be stored in the servers owned and operated by Apple.
In all, the lawsuit states that Apple “lacked the necessary infrastructure” to operate iCloud, and thus, it is not in total control of the iCloud data. Also, it notes that users trust Apple with their personal information and pay a premium to keep their data safe.
Plaintiffs James Stewart of San Francisco and Andrea M. Williams of Florida claim that they had no information that Apple stores iCloud data on non-Apple servers. If they would have known about it, they would not have subscribed nor would have paid the “premium’” to access the service.
“Touting itself as the provider of the iCloud service (when, in fact, Apple was merely reselling cloud storage space on cloud facilities of other entities) allowed Apple not only to obtain paid subscriptions of class members who subscribed to iCloud believing that their cloud storage was being provided by Apple…,” the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs allege that the iPhone maker does not mention anything about the third-party servers in its marketing materials or in the iCloud terms and conditions. Instead, the iCloud’s customer agreement suggests that all the data flows from user devices to Apple.
“When iCloud is enabled, your content will be automatically sent to and stored by Apple, so you can later access that content or have content wirelessly pushed to your other iCloud-enabled devices or computers,” reads the document.
The complaint acknowledges that iCloud user data is encrypted before it is sent to the third-party services. This, according to the lawsuit, does address a few privacy concerns, but there are no measures to address other fundamental concerns, such as reliability of the storage, the integrity of the data and more.
What’s interesting to note is that the Chinese iCloud agreement is more transparent in telling customers about where their data will be stored. The company clearly tells customers that it stores Chinese cloud data on local servers run by GCBD (Guizhou-Cloud Big Data).
The lawsuit is seeking class status, unspecified damages, legal fees and also stopping Apple from falsely misrepresenting iCloud storage policies.