iCloud and More: Ten Questions About the Recent Apple News

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Why is Lion only $29? It looks like a pretty meaty upgrade. Certainly far more so than Snow Leopard–I’m provisionally more excited by it than I was by Leopard, which was $129. Maybe Apple figures it’s a good idea to get it on as many Macs as possible to increase the chances of people buying lots of software from the Mac App Store?

Does the world need iMessage? My instinct is to be skeptical about a messaging system that requires me to give much thought to what sort of device the person on the other end is using. We’ll see.

Will the split keyboard catch on? Divvying up an onscreen keyboard into left- and -righthand sides to make for easier thumb-typing is a very old idea. I associate it with Samsung’s Q1 UMPC from five years ago, and Microsoft showed a variation in its Windows 8 preview last week. So far, it’s felt quirky rather than mainstream. But Apple likes to avoid the quirky, so I take its inclusion in iOS 5 as a sign that Apple thinks a lot of people will like it. (Now, can we get Swype?)

What should we read into iOS’s embrace of Twitter? I like to tweet from my iPhone, so it’s a pleasing development. But should we try to parse its greater meaning? Is there any reason why it wasn’t Facebook that got baked into Apple’s OS, or might that come along in iOS 6? Is there now an Apple-Twitter alliance that’s a mightier Facebook competitor than if the two companies were going it alone, with more signs of the partnership to come?

Why no straightforward music subscription service a la Rhapsody, Napster, Rdio, Slacker, and Mog? Is it a business Apple isn’t interested in pursuing? Or can it not sign the music-label deals it wants? Or is it just “one more thing” for the traditional September music event?

Will people pay twenty-five bucks a year for iTunes Match? It’s the return of one of Lala’s best features, the ability to automatically unlock songs you already own in an online collection.  Lala offered it for free. Then again, $25 a year is slightly over two bucks a month–pretty darn close to free if it’s useful.

Got any thoughts about any of these issues–or questions of your own? (I know I’m going to have more questions–the more I think about all of yesterday’s news, the less I’m clear on all of its implications…)

This post originally appeared on Technologizer.

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