The recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is the place where we were expecting to see Steve Jobs give us some details about the much anticipated iCloud service. We weren’t disappointed and here is our summary of what iCloud is going to give us all.
Jobs started by pointing out that current ways of storing music and video files no longer work the way we need them to. He even went so far as to say that keeping these files on the device itself is a method which has “broken down” lately and that keeping all the devices synced is “driving us crazy”.
He also pointed out that the idea of cloud storage being simply a “hard drive in the sky” was incorrect and that with iCloud there is going to be a lot more to it than that. Before going on to give the details he admitted that MobileMe wasn’t Apple’s moment of greatest glory.
Now the old MobileMe charge has gone and the iCloud service is free. Things such as contacts, calendar reminders and mail will all be brought up to date automatically on all of the user’s devices with no charge at any time.
What else can you do with it? What about all those apps you have downloaded and deleted / lost / forgotten about? You can see a list of them on all of your iOS machines and download them again at no charge. As well as that, all of the apps and iBooks purchases will now automatically arrive to all of your devices.
The (No) Daily Back Up
One point which will be particularly well received is the fact that there are now no automatic daily backups to worry about. This means that you don’t run the risk of losing anything which you did after the last one was run.
Documents and photos will also find a new home on iCloud. The photos which are taken on one device will automatically make their way onto your other ones, including your Mac or PC. Photos get held on the central server for 30 days. While PCs and Macs don’t have a limit other devices will hold the last thousand.
So that’s everything you need to know about iCloud then, isn’t it? What’s that? You want to know about the music? Steve Jobs left this to the end of his presentation before talking about “iTunes in the cloud”. Firstly, any song you buy on any of your machines will be sitting waiting for you download on any other device.
Music isn’t counted toward the free 5GB space you get and neither are photos, apps or books for that matter. If you have songs which you didn’t buy from iTunes jobs gave three different ways of getting them on the service.
The Music Syncing
The first one is to buy them on iTunes – surely set to be the least popular of the three ways. Next up is doing a manual sync. Finally, you can pay for the iTunes Match service to quickly sync them all for you. This will cost and the US price is $25, which at today’s rates is about £15.
That really is now just about everything about the iCloud service. The iTunes part has been launched already and developers have also got access to it now. All we have to do is try out and see if it works for us the way that it should.