For those of you following along, things just got a little more exciting! The iCloud website has officially launched and is giving developers a chance to access their mail, contacts, calendars, and iWork documents through the web offering the opportunity to give iCloud a good and proper test drive before the official release this fall.
With an interface that mimics the look and feel of iOS, most everything has a stylish metallic hue –blurring the line between functions and features that are web vs. non-web. In true Apple style, iCloud appears polished and beautiful, making iCloud feel like a true extension of your existing desktop.
The site include the first preview of iCloud iWork, which claims to store your documents and keep them up to date on your devices and on the web. By launching Pages on your iOS device, you connect directly to iCloud.
Unfortunately, if you don’t possess a valid Apple developer account and a device running the new iOS 5 beta, you won’t be able to take the tour firsthand just yet.
One of the questions we’ve all been asking without a response is what happens if and when we need more than the initial 5GB of storage that Apple is providing free of charge. The good news is that the pricing structure has also been released, and it is really quite reasonable.
But before you start budgeting for extra storage, remember that iTunes purchases including music and data from apps does not count toward your storage limits. Apple has also confirmed that PhotoStream images will remain in the cloud for 30 days without being weighed against your storage limit.
iCloud was announced by Apple at their recent WWDC, succeeding MobileMe to provide effortless and seamless syncing of music, photos, apps, calendars and documents across all of your devices automatically.
[storage option image courtesy of macstories]
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- Putting Your Head in the iCloud
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- iCloud is Finally Here With Lots of Bells and Whistles!
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Apple, apple developer, apps, beta, calendars, developer account, developers, hue, iCloud, including music, interface, Live, mail, mobileme, music photos, proper test, raquo, storage limit, storage limits, storage option, Takes, test drive, true extension, wwdc
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Apple “has completed work” on the highly anticipated cloud-based music service that will allow users to store music online, and access it anywhere using an iOS device or a computer.
However, Reuters also highlighted that Apple hadn’t secure any deals with music record labels yet. But, Wall Street Journal’s Peter Kafka reports that Apple has indeed spoken to record labels and the company “is actively seeking licenses for its service, and will pay the labels for the privilege.”
But wait a minute, isn’t this the same service that Amazon launched a few weeks ago? It is a cloud music service, but the approach seems to be a bit different. Amazon rushed their cloud based service offering in an effort to beat Apple and Google to the market, but in the process left out support for iOS devices, which is a huge chunk of the current mobile population and one that will grow without a doubt throughout 2011.
In addition, Amazon launched their service without getting formal approvals from large music record labels. As Peter Kafka confirmed, Apple has been working with the music labels to seek licenses for its cloud service. Mr. Kafka also went on to say that “that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months.” Wait, it doesn’t end there. Eddy Cue, who runs iTunes and the App Store, is planning to meet with the remaining record labels today to close deals.
Much has been said about how Apple’s Media Locker service would look like. Many rumors have indicated that you will be able to leverage Apple’s cloud to store your files in a personal locker including music, photos, video, and eventually allow iOS 5 users to synchronize their devices with the cloud.
I could argue that Amazon’s service does the same thing. But here’s the catch. As Mr. Kafka referred to in his article, if Apple licenses the content provided via its cloud service, then Apple could create “a more robust service with better user interfaces, sound quality, and other features”. Why? I think the record labels will give Apple access to key features and other perks that could make its cloud service more attractive.
After all, it appears that Apple will allow us to upload songs from our hard drives and stream previously purchased iTunes songs directly from the cloud. Will Apple charge us for this service? Earlier rumors indicated that Apple’s media locker service would cost us around $20 per year. Stay tuned!
» Related posts:
- Amazon, Google Racing Apple to Cloud-Based Media Locker Service
- A New MobileMe Cloud Music Service for $20 Per Year?
- Amazon Releases Cloud Drive and Cloud Player Services, No iOS Support
Categories: iPad Latest News Tags: Almost, amazon, Apple’s, chunk, Cloud, cloud music, emi, google, including music, itunes, last two months, Locker, mobile population, music, music photos, music record, music service, personal locker, peter kafka, Ready, record labels, reuters, s media, Service, universal music group, wall street journal, warner music group
A week ago, Apple sent an email to its suppliers, to tell them that the company would not be selling MobileMe subscriptions anymore.
The turn of events clearly signaled that Apple is about to release a major update of its MobileMe service, to include new capabilities such as online storage. Several reports have claimed the new MobileMe would be free, however a report by The Music Void seems to indicate the locker service would cost around $20 per year.
The current MobileMe service offers the ability to store calendar and contacts data, and costs $99. From what we know, the new service would allow much more than that. The rumors indicate you will be able to leverage Apple’s cloud (via Lala’s acquisition) to store your files in a personal locker including music, photos, video, and even allow iOS 5 users to synchronize their devices with the cloud.
As expected, every time we start talking about music files we should not forget about content rights, which is a delicate topic within the music industry. This means Apple needs to convince Universal, Sony and EMI Records to move over to the new cloud service. We have to assume Apple should be able to do so.
However, what seems to be a bit unclear at the moment, is whether or not Apple will charge for parts of the new MobileMe service. Even though earlier reports indicated the MobileMe service would be offered free of charge, The Music Void report indicates the new service would set you back $20 per year. Some have speculated that maybe Apple will offer sync features for free, while releasing some additional paid options for larger storage for your video and music files.
April is just around the corner. We’ve heard about a new iOS roadmap event next month. The expectation is for Apple to reveal their iOS 5 plans and a revamped MobileMe service. Stay tuned. We will follow this story very closely.
» Related posts:
- MobileMe to Be Re-Launched Next Month
- Free MobileMe Service to be Announced Next Week?
- An iOS 5 Apple Media Event in April?