The Wall Street Journal is currently reporting that Apple will be adding a number of photo-centric features to iCloud that could directly compete with Flickr and other photo-sharing services like 500px. The new features are rumored to include tools to let iCloud users share photo sets and folders outside of the all or nothing Photo Stream service that’s already featured in iCloud.
[quote]The maker of the iPhone and iPad is preparing a big upgrade to its online service iCloud that includes new photo-sharing features, according to people familiar with the matter … The new features, likely to be announced at Apple’s world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them, these people said.[/quote]
In addition to being able to share photos with friends and family, the service is also rumored to allow viewers to comment directly on photos. Going full circle to the Flickr and 500px references, it’s hard not to see these types of iCloud features directly competing with some of the major photo-based social networks currently on the market. Being able to share photos privately, in a potentially automated synching service like iCloud, would both save customers the headache of having to manually upload files as well as let them share photos and videos without having to publish them in a public forum. I know I’d retire my Flickr account.
Also included in this round of rumors is that Apple will begin letting its customers also sync home videos to iCloud, which would also likely coincide with an inclusion of video in Photo Stream in some capacity.
Both features have been highly requested both by people on Apple’s own support forums and across the major Apple-centric blogs on the Internet. Should the features actually be included in iOS 6, there’s a good chance that we may actually hear about them during WWDC this June.