In addition to the iOS 5 announcement, Apple also unveiled its much-rumored iCloud service. Apple explains, “iCloud is seamlessly integrated into your apps, so you can access your content on all your devices. And it’s free with iOS 5.”
iCloud brings your iTunes, Photo Stream, Apps, Books, Docs, Contacts, Calendar, and Mail to the Cloud.
- iTunes in the Cloud – The music you purchase from iTunes will automatically appear on all your iOS devices. What about for those who don’t buy music from iTunes? For $24.99 a year, you can use iTunes Match. iTunes Match will sort through your tracks to determine which of your songs are available on iTunes. These tracks will be converted to 256-Kbps quality and added to the Cloud. To make this very clear, you will not upload your own music like on Amazon or Google Music. This will take the songs you have and turn them into high-quality AAC files… if it is available on iTunes.
- Photo Stream – iCloud will allow you to take a photo on one device and automatically have it appear on all of your other devices. This is part of the “PC Free” part of iOS 5. This will be enabled with your last 1000 photos and will store your new photos for 30 days.
- Apps, Books, Documents, and Backup – All apps you download will be available in one convenient place: your purchased history on the App Store. Since you have already purchased these apps, you can download them again at no additional charge on your iOS device. Purchase a new app and have ti pushed to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. iBooks will also pushed to the iCloud. Finally, Documents you’ve written can be viewed and edited on any of your devices. Finally, iCloud will backup your music, apps, books, photos, settings, App data, home screen and app organization, texts and MMS messages, and Ringtones.
- Contacts, Calendar, and Mail – iCloud will store your email, calendars,and contacts and automatically push them to all your devices.
The best part is that the iCloud will be available for free to all iOS users. Some of the features are available starting today. Check out all the details over at the Apple website.