Apple has introduced iCloud, a set of free new cloud services that work seamlessly with applications on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content which automatically and wirelessly pushing it to all a user’s devices.
“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” asys Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, who made a cameo appearance for the launch. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”
Free iCloud services include:
• The former MobileMe services—Contacts, Calendar and Mail—all re-architected and rewritten to work with iCloud. Users can share calendars with friends and family, and the ad-free push Mail account is hosted at me.com. Minbox and mailboxes are kept up-to-date across all iOS devices and computers.
• The App Store and iBookstore now download purchased iOS apps and books to all a user’s devices, not just the device they were purchased on. In addition, the App Store and iBookstore now let users see their purchase history, and simply tapping the iCloud icon will download any apps and books to any iOS device (up to 10 devices) at no additional cost.
• iCloud Backup automatically and securely backs up iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when users charge their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Backed up content includes purchased music, apps and books, Camera Roll (photos and videos), device settings and app data. If users replace their iOS device, they just enter their Apple ID and password during setup and iCloud restores the new device.
• iCloud Storage stores all documents created using iCloud Storage APIs, and automatically pushes them to all devices. When users change a document on any device, iCloud automatically pushes the changes to all devices. Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps already take advantage of iCloud Storage. Users get up to 5GB of free storage for their mail, documents and backup.
• iCloud’s Photo Stream service automatically uploads the photos you take or import on any of a user’s devices and wirelessly pushes them to all their devices and computers. Photo Stream is built into the photo apps on all iOS devices, iPhoto on Macs, and saved to the Pictures folder on a PC
• iTunes in the Cloud lets users download previously purchased iTunes music to all their iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all their devices. In addition, music not purchased from iTunes can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that replaces music with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version if iTunes can match it to the more than 18-million songs in the iTunes Store, it makes the matched music available in minute.