Apple is set to launch its breakthrough set of free cloud services tomorrow called iCloud together with iOS 5, as announced during the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event in Cupertino on October 4, where the tech giant also revealed the new iPhone 4S. The much-awaited iCloud includes iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that allows you to automatically and wirelessly sync your content to iCloud and pushed to different devices including your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. iCloud will be available globally at launch.
iTunes in the Cloud automatically downloads new song purchases into your devices without having to manually sync. It also lets you download previous purchases including music and TV shows with no additional cost. iTunes Match scans and matches songs in your music library to more than 20 million songs available on the iTunes Store, offering high-quality, DRM-free 256 kbps AAC encoded alternatives. Unmatched songs are uploaded to iCloud so you can play songs, albums or playlists from your music library on your devices. Very cool.
Photo Stream lets you take a photo on one device and have it automatically appear on your other devices. Documents in the Cloud keeps your documents up to date across all your devices. It works very much like Dropbox. Apple’s iWork productivity apps for iOS, Pages, Numbers and Keynote will take advantage of iCloud storage. iCloud also lets you see your App Store and iBookstore purchase history and download those apps and books to any of your devices at any time. Purchased apps and books can be automatically downloaded to your devices, not limited to just the device they were purchased on.
iCloud Backup is a much-anticipated service, especially for me. It automatically and securely backs up your most important information to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi. iCloud Backup backs up your photos and video in the Camera Roll, device settings, app data, home screen and app organization, messages and ringtones. Comes in especially handy when you need to set up a new iOS device or restore information on one you already own.
Most importantly, iCloud works seamlessly with the center of your universe – your Contacts, Calendar and Mail. Your me.com email are up to date across your iOS devices and computers, and with icloud.com you have easy web access to your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone and iWork documents.
The Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps are handy location-based additions and are available as a free download from the App Store.
Pricing & Availability
iCloud requires 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.
For more information about iCloud, visit http://apple.com/icloud