Former OS X chief Bertrand Serlet is finally ready to talk about his cloud startup UpThere after founding the company in 2011. While Sertlet isn’t completely taking the wraps off the company he assembled after leaving Apple four years ago, UpThere is opening a beta for its cloud service today following nearly three years of silence. The service is said to be similar to iCloud, Dropbox, and similar cloud solutions, but UpThere’s strategy is fast access to data stored online and not syncing content across devices. The beta will preview two products coming down from UpThere… While UpThere’s site has been updated beyond the hiring page first seen in 2012 to further explain their mission and take sign ups for the beta, it’s an interview between Bertrand Serlet and The Verge today that paints a clearer picture of what UpThere is working on exactly. The first two products will include UpThere Camera and UpThere Home.
Camera will let you create shared albums with other users with UpThere as the central place for your photo library and notifications for activity alerts. The service will be offered on iOS, OS X, Android, and eventually PC where iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams and Google Photos (Google Ventures is an investor) have already made progress in this space. UpThere Home is said to be a sort of documents and media viewer for browsing your photos, playing back audio files, and viewing documents.
Serlet’s startup hasn’t shared further detailers like how much the service will cost and what data tiers will be offered … or even when the apps will be released beyond beta. But for now interested users in the United States can sign up for the UpThere beta here and read about Upthere’s strategy here. Then we’ll see how cloud-based management without local access performs in the real world.
Serlet left Apple in 2011 after 22 years with the company and NeXT with OS X Snow Leopard the last Mac OS release during his tenure, joining the board of directors of Parallels the following year. Craig Federighi, who still leads OS X and iOS post-Forstall, replaced him. At the time, Serlet said he wanted to “focus less on products and more on science.”