This week at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference a new cloud based storage service was revealed: iCloud. Apple’s iCloud is a new system that will automatically synchronize and backup all of your files across all your apple wireless devices. For the multidevice lifestyle we have all embraced with Apple products, this new way of storing and sharing information will revolutionize how we communicate with each other and how we interact with our devices.
iCloud will be a free service available for users to download this fall. The user will be able to automatically synchronize all their information including music, photos, documents, apps, and books to all wireless devices within range. This will create an automatic backup system similar to Google Docs and Dropbox.
By including the user’s iTunes library in iCloud, when a song is purchased on one device it will automatically be available on up to 10 other devices. So that means you can be listening to a song in a cafe, purchase it on your iPad and then go for a run later that day and listen to it on your iPod touch or iPhone without ever connecting your devices. All of the music purchased through iTunes will be automatically saved to the user’s cloud locker. For £25 a year Apple also has iTunes Match which will scan through all your music not purchased through iTunes and find a copy in their music library of over 18 million songs to replace your song with an iTunes Plus quality copy at 256 Kbps, even if your original copy was of lower quality.
Synchronizing your playlists is just one of the new features of iCloud. All your photos will also be synchronized and updated to each device immediately. With iCloud users can easily share photos and even upload directly to Facebook and Twitter from any device. It will be easier than ever to capture baby’s first beach day and send photos and video to grandma and grandpa immediately from any device.
Music and photos can take up a lot of memory on the iPhone and iPad, but Apple’s thought of that too. There will only be a rolling stream of 1,000 photos saved directly on the smaller devices at any time; the rest of the photo stream will be accessible through the cloud locker through a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. This does pose a problem for users who frequently travel in zones with weak wireless signals. It does not appear that iCloud will be able to stream music from the iTunes library, so there may only be a limited cache of songs accessible when on airplane mode.
iCloud will protect even the laziest users from losing their data. Apple does all the work for you constantly updating and syncing your data. All documents can be easily shared and edited so you are always working on the most up-to-date version no matter what device you use. Sharing and updating calendars and email accounts is another new feature. Text messages and SMS messages are also saved in your cloud locker along with saved ringtones and apps.
We all remember Mobile Me and how that system never really lived up to our Apple expectations. We at MadBid think iCloud is a very different product and will become a formidable competitor in the cloud based storage industry.
We can’t wait to try iCloud out on our Apple products this fall. Which Apple products will you be synchronizing? The benefits of cloud storage and synchronization can only really be optimized when you have more than one device to update, so why not pick up another i-something? At MadBid.com users have picked up the iPad 2 for just £2.52 and the iPhone 4 for £2.34. Those are just a few examples of the deals our users are wining every day, see for yourself.