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iCloud Details From WWDC

Apple Sends Your Digital Life to the Cloud: iCloud

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.

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  • Downloads — Apps downloaded from the app store will automatically upload to the cloud to store for free. iBooks get pushed to all of your devices along with bookmarks.
  • Wireless backups — iCloud will have automatic and wireless backups performed once a day over WiFi, which keeps your music, books, apps, camera roll, and device settings all in check.
  • Documents — Documents will be stored in the cloud and pushed to all available devices (available for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) though a Documents app, which also automatically updates changes to all devices.
  • Photostream — All photos taken on your iDevices will be uploaded to the cloud and pushed to be available on all other devices as well. You can even upload pics to be shared among devices, and the Photostream has been built right into iPhoto on the Mac and Apple TV. The catch is Apple will store your last 1,000 photos on your mobile device, all of them on your Mac or PC, and in the cloud for 30 days. I'm guessing you'll have to pay a fee to get your photos in the cloud for longer.
  • Music — In iTunes, Apple has added a "Purchased" button, which lets you see all the songs you've bought then lets you download to your current device by pushing the iCloud icon. Additionally, you can enable automatic music syncing to up to 10 devices for free.
  • 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.

    Image Source: Getty
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