A Thought Exercise

caseyliss:

I’ve lamented on the last couple episodes of my podcast with friends that I have several gigabytes of text and picture messages stored on my iPhone.

If Apple were to offer to include your text message history in iCloud–without it counting against your storage limits–how would that make you feel? Would you be happy? Scared? Impressed? Depressed?

What if Google offered the same thing? Would that change your feelings? If so, how?

The weird thing is that I think they are already storing this information. When I open my MBP after a few days of sending images and texts over iMessage, everything locks up while the Messages app tries to download all of it. It has to be downloading this from Apple, not from my phone, so they do have some kind of record of my iMessages. Perhaps it is incomplete? Or so unreliable they don’t want to use it as a backup?

Of course that is only iMessages, not the totality of my communiques. It may be the case that they don’t want to be responsible for collecting and storing SMS and MMS data. With iMessage, both users have consented to Apple’s iMessage policies.

Does Apple want to send out this disclaimer when an iPhone customer sends a SMS to an Android customer?

This conversation is being stored remotely.

Could you picture the headlines about that legal disclaimer?

Keep in mind that those conversations are already stored by the user, and backed up, but the unit of backup is your phone, not a server-side log.

I don’t see anything nefarious about Apple doing it (my concerns would be about reliability of the service) but I would have concerns if Google instituted a similar program. Would I want my conversations with friends that have Android phones backed up and indexed to prioritize what kind of ads are sent to my iPhone? Gmail does that, why wouldn’t their message backup service?

2014-01-26 11:24:15

Category: text