iCloud

Apple iCloud Online Service

Cloud computing is more than just a virtual playground for developers, now that Apple has announced the launch of iCloud (www.icloud.com), the company’s new wireless syncing platform and successor to the MobileMe (www .me.com) subscription-based service. Originally dubbed iTools about a decade ago and then renamed .Mac, MobileMe was released in 2008. Although support for MobileMe is slated to expire on June 30, 2012 for subscribers with accounts activated prior to June 6, 2011, Apple discontinued MobileMe availability in retail stores on Feb. 24 this year. The transition to iCloud will incorporate some features from MobileMe in addition to new cloud-based offerings. Moreover, iCloud will be offered at no charge for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users. At this time, MobileMe users can access data on certain programs, such as MobileMe Mail and Mac OS X Mail; Contacts and Bookmarks; iCal; and the multimedia created in iPhoto, iMovie, and iWeb, on multiple Apple devices. For instance, if you have an @me.com or @mac.com (f m the .Mac phase) email address, you can sync your Address Book, calendar events, and photos on your PC, MacBook, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. Basic storage in MobileMe costs$99 per year for 20GB (or $149 a year for the Family Pack with a 20GB primary account and 5GB sub-accounts), whereas iCloud offers 5GB of free storage, unless you decide to buy a storage upgrade. Another $20 each year will get you 10GB of iCloudstorage. For $40, you’ll receive 20GB. And for $100, you have access to 50GB of space. Any purchased music, apps, books, TV shows, as well as the photos in Photo Stream (we’ll explain this later), “don’t count against your free storage,” Apple says. Although we could continue making MobileMe and iCloud comparisons, we’ll get right to it and cover the must-know info about iCloud in its beta stage, including current and upcoming features.

iCloud Raining Features

Mac Computer Repair – At press time, only the developer community could access iCloud. Apple will release iCloud as part of iOS 5, the next generation of its mobile operating system. iOS 5 is compatible with the following devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch third generation, iPod touch fourth generation, iPad, and iPad 2. Essentially, iCloud will function as an online service that lets you access almost all the content on the aforementioned devices (plus on a Mac or PC) whenever you like. By wirelessly pushing app content and multimedia to your devices, you don’t have to sync your mobile gadgets to your home computer, such as when you connect your iPod touch to your MacBook Pro in order to back up apps and music.

Music

In iCloud, you can purchase new music, TV shows, and movies via iTunes, and iCloud will push the song, episode, or film to the rest of your devices, regardless of which one you use to download the media. When you use this Automatic Downloads feature, you must have a broadband or mobile broadband connection for iCloud to sync content. iTunes tracks your purchase history, making it possible to get to previously purchased items on each of your devices. While both of these features are currently available as beta versions for the general public, an additional feature called iTunes Match will come with the official release. For $24.99 per year, iTunes Match will search your iTunes music collection for songs ripped from CDs or albums you’ve bought from other Web sites and back them up to iCloud.

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