Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the impending arrival of the company’s iCloud technology in June. Apple has now released pricing information for service as well as the beta version of iCloud.com. For anyone who missed out on the explanation of what exactly the iCloud service is, here are the basics according to PC World
The iCloud is an information storage service that keeps your stored information synced between all of your Apple devices and any PC. It does not replace local storage on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. For example, if you write a document on an iPad and then save it, you can then open and edit that document on your other Apple devices or on your PC without having to transfer the file via e-mail or USB.
Additionally, iCloud backs up information like device setting, apps, the layout of your home screen, ring tones, text messages, etc. so that all of your personal preferences are available if you choose to update or replace your Apple device.
Apple’s iWork productivity software — including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — can sync documents through iCloud, and once the service is downloaded, Contacts, Calendar, and Mail are also updated across all of your devices. Photo Stream, a new Apple service, allows you to download your 1,000 most recent photos to a computer or other iOS service for 30 days. iCloud is capable of storing a device’s entire camera roll for even longer.
Apps owned by other companies will also be able to use iCloud if they choose so that your information on those apps keeps updated on all of your devices.
Recently, the pricing information for the iCloud was revealed: Apple will provide 5GB of iCloud storage for free, and iTunes Music, apps, books, and Photo Stream do not count against that amount. Storage space exceeding the 5GB provided will cost $20 per year for 10 GB, $40 per year for 20 GB, and $100 per year for 50 GB. Apple has suggested that 5 GB should be enough space, but that depends on the individual’s usage of the service—lots of data is used by storing files like photos and videos.
People with multiple iOS devices will benefit the most from the iCloud service, but those who own only one Apple product can still appreciate the service’s automatic backup function, which makes replacing a device much easier.
iCloud is set to hit the market this fall.
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