updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon June 6, 2011
Content automatically pushed and uploaded
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage today at WWDC to formally introduce the much-anticipated iCloud service. The executive suggests the system will "demote the PC and Mac" by moving the "digital hub, the center of your digital life," into the cloud. As expected, iCloud aims to improve and streamline sync capabilities across Apple's range of connected devices.
Devices such as iPhones, iPads or Macs will be able to communicate with the cloud at any time. If a user takes a picture on an iPhone, it is automatically uploaded to the cloud and then pushed to other devices without requiring any further input.
"Everything happens automatically and there's nothing new to learn," Jobs says. "It just all works."
The executive suggests all of the MobileMe apps have been rewritten "from the ground up" to focus on iCloud. The service enables changes to contacts to be pushed to all devices, while also enabling calendar entries to be shared with other users. Anyone with an @me.com mail account can will be able to read messages pushed to all devices, with inboxes and folders kept up-to-date.
The cloud will also be brought to the App Store, enabling app purchases to be automatically pushed to all of a user's supported devices. Other capabilities include books pushed through iBooks, along with automatic backups.
Aside from the existing products that have been redesigned for iCloud, the company also introduced several new utilities. Documents in the Cloud works with Pages, Numbers and Keynote documents created on various devices, while Photo Stream pushes photos to all devices. iTunes will also benefit from iCloud, enabling users to access music from the cloud rather than relying solely upon local storage.
Jobs admitted that MobileMe was not the company's "finest hour." In contrast to MobileMe's $99 annual subscription, the improved and expanded iCloud services will be available to all users for free.