An announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference by Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) brought the new Apple service to the spotlight. It is called the iCloud which functions as a wireless syncronizer for iOS, Mac, and PCs.
“Some people think the cloud is just a hard disk in the sky,” said the Apple CEO in the annoucement. “We think it’s way more than that. And we call it iCloud.”
The new service is the free alternative to Apple’s MobileMe, which costs 99 dollars per year. The MobileMe service is a thing of the past and the Apple CEO stated that service “wasn’t our finest hour”. MobileMe and iCloud have many similar features. You can syncronize contacts, calenders, and documents between any compatible products. An example is if you have an iPhone set up with iCloud and a computer, a new document created on the iPhone will automatically be sent to the computer. Any new document will be syncronized to every device you have with iCloud on it. It is not limited to documents as contacts and calenders can be shared as well.
Even Safari bookmarks and iBooks can be synced between any device connected to iCloud. The good thing about the service is that it isn’t limted to Apple products. With a 3rd-party app you can save documents and the changes will be made in all devices.
With a WiFi connection, the iCloud will backup all changed files for that day in all devices. That way, a phone can be backed up easily by just inputing your Apple login details. It will backup any files including: songs, applications, documents, pictures, videos, device options, application information, display properties, sms and mms messages, and ringtones.
Along with 3 brand new applications for the iCloud, Apple will release the iCloud APIs for developer use. That means that application designers unrelated to Apple can still use some of the iCloud features.
A new app called Documents lets you sync pages, digits, and Keynote documents. An example is if you make a Keynote presentation on a iPhone, the presentation can then be edited with an iPad that is in the cloud. Photo Stream, another new application, moves photos taken with any device to all the devices in the cloud. There are limits on certain devices as well as limits on how long the photos will last in the Cloud. You can easily avoid losing pictures by permanently saving photos from the cloud to your device. The last app, iTunes in the iCloud, is a music managing application. It will display ‘already purchased’ signs on any song bought with any other device to avoid multiple payments for the same song. “This is the first time we’ve seen this in the music industry,” stated Steve Jobs.
A new service offered by Apple lets you bypass the problems of ripped CDs on iTunes. It will check your ripped songs to the iTunes database and try to find the song it is. It will then say ‘already purchased’ to avoid buying something that you thought you didn’t have because it didn’t say it was previously purchased. The service is $25 per year.
With the iCloud, you can see all of your purchase history, whether it be iBooks or apps. You can also download anything that you already purchased at no charge to you, no matter what device you bought it on or want it on. It will send all new apps to all devices within the clouds connection. Any notes or bookmarks in your iBooks will also be updated in all your devices as well.