Following Apple’s rare pre-annoucement last week much has been speculated about iCloud, but at WWDC Steve Jobs made a rare public appearance to introduce the cloud-based storage service.
Similar to it’s Mobile Me service, but free it lets you share Contacts, Calendar and Mail data across iOS devices, syncing information from Pages, Numbers and Keynote. You get 5GB storage and all data is back-up up automatically.
Steve Jobs said: “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”
Elsewhere Photo Stream lets you share your pictures between devices, automatically uploading pictures to the cloud. You can store 1000 photos on each devices, and it’s stored in the cloud for 30 days, during which time you’ll need to download them.
iTunes in the Cloud scans your library and automatically lets you listen iTunes purchased songs between iOS devices. But for $24.99 a year you can also listen to non-iTunes music with iTunes Match. Instead of uploading them all – which of course takes time – it matches them to 256Kbps versions Apple already has, only uploading those tracks Apple doesn’t have. While this certainly sounds interesting, this isn’t the much-speculated Spotify-rival.
A free beta version of iTunes in the Cloud is out now for iOS users in the US, minus iTunes Match, with a fully-featured version will be available release this Autumn, we’ll bring you an in-depth looks as soon as possible.