Apple has announced that iCloud, a set of free cloud services, including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, will be available on October 12.
Apple says iCloud will work seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content in iCloud and push it to all devices. iCloud will store music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars and documents and also keep them up to date across all your devices. When content changes on one device, all the other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly.
“iCloud is the easiest way to manage your content, because iCloud does it all for you and goes far beyond anything available today,” said Mr Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice- President of Internet Software and Services. “You don't have to think about syncing your devices, because it happens automatically, and it is free.”
iTunes in the Cloud lets the user automatically download new music purchases to all devices. If the user buys a song on his iPad, he will be able to find it on his iPhone, without syncing. iTunes in the Cloud also lets the user download previously purchased iTunes content, including music and TV shows to devices.
In addition, iTunes Match scans the songs in the music library, including music not purchased on iTunes, and matches them to the more than 20 million songs available on the iTunes Store, offering them in high-quality, DRM-free 256 kbps AAC encoding. Any unmatched songs are uploaded to iCloud so the user can play songs, albums or playlists from his music library on his devices.
iCloud’s Photo Stream service lets the user take a photo on one device and have it automatically appear on your other devices. A photo you take on the iPhone is sent to iCloud and automatically pushed to iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. The Photo Stream album could also be viewed on Apple TV. iCloud also automatically pushes a copy of the photos imported from digital camera over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, so the user can view them on other devices.
iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud keeps documents up to date across all devices, automatically. Apple’s iWork apps for iOS, Pages, Numbers and Keynote will take advantage of iCloud storage, and Apple is also offering developers the APIs they need to enable their apps to work seamlessly with Documents in the Cloud.
iCloud lets you see the user's App Store and iBookstore purchase history and download those apps and books to any of your devices at any time. Purchased apps and books could be automatically downloaded to other devices, not just the device they were purchased on.
iCloud Backup automatically and securely backs up information to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi. Apple claims iCloud works seamlessly with Contacts, Calendar and Mail, and the user can share calendars with friends and family.
The Find My iPhone app can help the user if one of his devices is missing. The user has to use the free Find My iPhone app on another device, or sign in at icloud.com from a computer, which would enable him to see the missing device on a map, display a message, and remotely lock or wipe the missing device.
Find My Friends is a new app available as a free download from the App Store that lets the user easily share his location. Find My Friends also lets the user temporarily share the location with a group of friends.
iCloud will be available concurrently with iOS 5.
iCloud will be available on October 12 as a free download to iPhone, iPad or iPod touch users running iOS 5 or a Mac running OS X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. Purchased music, TV shows, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit. iTunes Match will be available starting in the US later this month for $24.99 a year.
iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation) customers, allowing them to experience the amazing new features.