Steve Jobs introduced iCloud at today's WWDC keynote presentation, which promises to move the center of your digital life to the cloud. Essentially, all of the info you receive on your iDevices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touches, and MacBooks) is sent to the cloud first then gets pushed down into your devices, so you're completely synced at all times. Further, iCloud "just works" with all of your apps. It's magical.Apparently, Steve and Apple learned a lot with MobileMe, but they've written the key elements from that service (contacts, calendars, and mail) from the ground up for iCloud. If you enter a contact on your iPhone, the contact is automatically updated in iCloud and the info is pushed to the rest of your devices. You can even share calendars, which makes sharing parenting duties super easy. These three features are now free with all Apple devices.
But wait, there's more! See what else is coming with iCloud (including one interesting catch) after the break.
Dealing with ripped music
Apple is providing autosync for songs purchased in the iTunes store, but if you have music on your computer that you've ripped yourself, you can do one of three things:
- Sync your devices over WiFi or cable
- Buy the songs on iTunes
- Use Apple's "iTunes Match" — This service scans your music library and matches available songs from the iTunes store, ditching the need to upload your entire library to the cloud (which could take awhile if you have a significant library). Cost is just a flat $25 a year; no limit to the amount of songs matched by iTunes. Pretty good!
iCloud for iTunes is available on all new devices and available today (beta) for all Apple users, while the full version is coming this Fall. Apple is also throwing in 5GB of mail, documents, or backup storage as well.