updated 12:45 pm EDT, Thu July 1, 2010
Apple said planning much broader streaming options
Apple's long-rumored iTunes streaming options could be much more comprehensive than first thought if an Apple source is accurate. It would stream purchased music directly from Apple's servers to computers and iOS devices, as expected, but would also stream from the devices themselves over the Internet. Local sharing has been Apple's only official sharing option in the past.
The "reliable" contact for BGR also supports notions that wireless syncing is coming to iOS and even provides some details of how it should work. Relatively small content, such as apps, calendars and contacts, will automatically sync with the host computer. It's not evident whether music, photos and videos would make the transition.
Timing for the software wasn't mentioned, but two handhelds with "camera/camcorder capabilities" are expected at Apple's annual music event near the fall and could be accompanied by the new software. Apple often times major updates to iTunes with news of new iPods and could have its frequently spotted camera equipped iPod touch there along with an updated iPod nano.
Streaming may be essential for Apple, as its now arch-rival Google has made wireless access a core part of Android. It quietly bought Simplify Media earlier this year, taking away a popular remote streaming option that will now let all Android 2.2 and later devices stream a home music collection. A Google music store is also believed in the works and could not only allow pushing songs directly to a phone without needing on-device input but could stream songs online.
This last feature and wireless sync aren't firsts for either Apple or Google, as the Zune has had wireless sync virtually since launch and, as of Zune HD 4.5, can stream music from the Zune Marketplace for anyone with a Zune Pass subscription.