Apple’s latest service was announced by Steve Jobs during the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Called the iCloud, this storage service is designed to make file sharing a lot easier, be it e-mail, photos, music, or calendars. iCloud makes wireless sharing between computers and handheld gadgets more seamless and effortless.
According to Jobs, “We’ve got a solution for this problem. We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”
The service is Apple’s answer to Google’s cloud services such as Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, and Calendar, which allows users to share photos and documents to other users and open the files for editing.
iCloud backs up the following files in your gadgets: purchased music, apps, and books, device settings, photos and video in the Camera Roll, as well as home screen and app organization.
New versions of applications like Mail, Contacts, and Calendar will be supporting the iCloud. Say if you edit the information for a contact in your device, the new data will be pushed to other devices with the help of Apple’s servers.
When it comes to music files, Apple will implement special restrictions. You can’t transfer just any music file from the cloud to share with other devices. You can only do this with music bought from iTunes, which can turn off music lovers who transfer their music files from original CDs into their computers. For this problem, Apple created the iTunes Match. For $24.99 a year, the service will allow you to store any type of music file on iCloud servers. The program will study the songs that you will upload and compare them against the songs available in the iTunes store. The songs will be then made available for your use at 256 kbps, regardless if the original file you uploaded has lower quality.
Apple is going all out to retain its status as the largest offline and online music retailer in the world. It has a more than 70 percent share of sales of digital songs. To boost their music service even further, Apple forged a licensing agreement with EMI Music last month. Similar deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group are reportedly near completion.
Image source: macworld.com