Apple introduces iCloud

iCloud, the much-rumoured cloud streaming service, was introduced by Apple today at the Worldwide Developer Conference. Steve Jobs took to the stage earlier today at Moscone West to show off the new service, described by Jobs' famous tagline as "It just works."

The idea, Jobs explained, was that the PC as the media hub is an outdated model. "Keeping devices in sync is driving us crazy," Jobs said. With iCloud, Apple plans to move the focus towards "the cloud". iPhones, iPads and the like can all sync with the cloud. Content is uploaded, downloaded and pushed to all of your devices automatically.

MobileMe, described by Jobs as "not our finest hour", has had its apps reworked into iCloud apps. As an example, a contact made on one device is taken up by the cloud and pushed to all other devices. Similarly, if a change is made, that change is reflected everywhere. Calendars work in the same sort of way, but the option is there to share calendar events with other users.

Mail has also been brought into the cloud. Users with an @me.com account will be able to access all of their messages and folders everywhere. The service will be free, unlike MobileMe's asking price of $99 per year.

The App Store has also made the jump to iCloud, where purchase history can be viewed from any device. A special "cloud button" brings down pre-purchased apps onto the current device, avoiding any confusion about what has already been bought when. In keeping with Apple's "post-PC" theme, iOS devices can also be backed up to the cloud, negating the use for a computer with iTunes. On a new device, users can tap in their ID and password and have all their old content beamed onto their shiny new purchase.

While iOS data backup solves the majority of mobile data woes, Apple has taken things one step further and brought their iWork office suite onto iCloud as well. A document tweaked in Pages will automatically have its changes beamed across to all devices, so customers can carry on their work on an iPad. This functionality will be extended out to developers in the form of iCloud APIs.

Other apps receiving special iCloud treatment include Photos. As photos can be storage-consuming, only the last 1,000 will be stored. Photos will be kept in the cloud for a maximum of 30 days. To permanently keep a photo, either beam it down to a computer, or place it into an album. For the most part, iCloud will be device agnostic. iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad seem a logical fit, but Macs and PCs will also be supported, as well as the Apple TV (which itself runs a variation of iOS).

Finally, as many had expected, iTunes will be included in iCloud. A song purchased on one device can be downloaded to any other 10 devices, either by individual song or by complete album. "This is the first time we've seen this in the music industry - no charge for multiple downloads to different devices," Jobs said.

iCloud will be available for free starting today. Mail, documents and backups are limited to 5GB of storage, but any other content is unlimited.

Image credit: Apple

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iCloud will be available for free starting today. Mail, documents and backups are limited to 5GB of storage, but any other content is unlimited

damn why u lie neowin Its only out in fall

hotdog963al said,
I can't wait to upload all my stuff at 20KB/s...

Hm..that should take about as long as iTunes does to sync my iPod 3G...FOREVER!!

So I have a question. If you have Mobilame and you have an older iPhone that's not eligible for iOS5 and you don't plan on upgrading to Lion, you can't get iCloud? And with Mobilame getting phased out next summer for iCloud, you'd lose your email accounts and everything if you don't upgrade?

So is this yet another forced upgrade from Apple?

Enron said,
So I have a question. If you have Mobilame and you have an older iPhone that's not eligible for iOS5 and you don't plan on upgrading to Lion, you can't get iCloud? And with Mobilame getting phased out next summer for iCloud, you'd lose your email accounts and everything if you don't upgrade?

So is this yet another forced upgrade from Apple?

MobileMe will be decommissioned on June 30, 2012. If you are still using an iPhone or iPhone 3G by then, I think its about time you upgraded to at least an iPhone 3GS.

TokyoKiller said,

MobileMe will be decommissioned on June 30, 2012. If you are still using an iPhone or iPhone 3G by then, I think its about time you upgraded to at least an iPhone 3GS.

I'll be using a Droid or WP7 by then.

TokyoKiller said,

MobileMe will be decommissioned on June 30, 2012. If you are still using an iPhone or iPhone 3G by then, I think its about time you upgraded to at least an iPhone 3GS.

That's assuming he sticks with an iDevice, which in my opion isn't a good assumption to make (as you can see by his reply). Not everyone has an Apple addiction you know.

I have an iPod Touch 3G, and yes it's a good device. But i certainly won't be getting an iPhone when I'm due for upgrade. As good as iDevices are, there are better options out there.

Don't take me wrong, Apple makes great products. But from time to time they just take an existing product/service and put the word magic next to it.

Meh... I mean, it all sounds like improvements to already existing features (in MobileMe and other competitors products). Mac OS X Lion seemed like the bigger announcement to me. About the only thing that perked my interest about iOS was the new notifications system and the new messenger app (especially since this will be accessible on my iPad).

It also appears the peeps who had subscribed to MobileMe will have to take stuff off of iDisk. iDisk use to hold up to 20GB, now it sounds like it will only hold 5GB .

Let's see. Apple couldn't make .Mac work correctly, so they made iTools.
iTools didn't work correctly, so they made MobileMe.
MobileMe didn't work correctly, so they made iCloud.

Why should we think that this will be any better?
And people complain about MS changing the names of their products.

nohone said,
Let's see. Apple couldn't make .Mac work correctly, so they made iTools.
iTools didn't work correctly, so they made MobileMe.
MobileMe didn't work correctly, so they made iCloud.

Why should we think that this will be any better?

And people complain about MS changing the names of their products.

What do u mean it didn't work right? I never had a issue with mobile me.

Always bashing competitor. Now new victim Google. At first, may be cool and shock. But now, it is just pathetic. People have been using dropbox, Live Sync - Skydrive for years. Now they introduce icloud and said they are the best. It just works?? lol

presence06 said,
OMG Apple is SO Innovative... /s

+1

A lot of the above reminds me of Android and the perks we've had for ages. Google's implimentation isn't perfection but it's prior art all the same.

simsie said,

+1

A lot of the above reminds me of Android and the perks we've had for ages. Google's implimentation isn't perfection but it's prior art all the same.

Exactly.

But, Google's version "sucks" and Apples doing it "right"..

Yet, we've (Android) have had none interrupted Notifications since Android 1.0.. what version is Apple on? 5? Just saying.

_ Samsungs Touchwiz does the same thing apples Lock Screen Notifications do, only it's a puzzle piece.

presence06 said,

Exactly.

But, Google's version "sucks" and Apples doing it "right"..

Yet, we've (Android) have had none interrupted Notifications since Android 1.0.. what version is Apple on? 5? Just saying.

_ Samsungs Touchwiz does the same thing apples Lock Screen Notifications do, only it's a puzzle piece.


How many "Apples" are you talking about? Anyway, Apple only stated what will be offered to the public. Not good to through your opinion out for everyone to read untill the product is finally available to the general public. Google's service could get better when apple is finally finished with their so called "iCloud" (what a dumb name)

"This is the first time we've seen this in the music industry - no charge for multiple downloads to different devices," Jobs Said

Uh, yeah. About that. It may be true for DRM free music (well, aside from the Amazon cloud dealie) but it has long existed for P4S services, as well as the Zune platform (Without monthly subsriptions, limit being that the songs had to be DRMed)

Sraf said,

Uh, yeah. About that. It may be true for DRM free music (well, aside from the Amazon cloud dealie) but it has long existed for P4S services, as well as the Zune platform (Without monthly subsriptions, limit being that the songs had to be DRMed)

When Jobs said that he was referring to iTunes match, which matches non iTunes purchased content with the iTunes library and doesn't require you to re-upload all your tracks if iTunes has a copy of the same track (Unlike Google/Amazon where you would have to upload your entire music library)

DomZ said,

When Jobs said that he was referring to iTunes match, which matches non iTunes purchased content with the iTunes library and doesn't require you to re-upload all your tracks if iTunes has a copy of the same track (Unlike Google/Amazon where you would have to upload your entire music library)

Alrighty then. Rdio has a similar feature, but as it's a subscription only service, it doesn't really count