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iCloud named as successor to MobileMe, will be free service


Steve Jobs unveiled the new iCloud service at WWDC today. iCloud stores a user's content in the cloud and wirelessly pushes that content to all devices. The services will be free with no ads and be completely integrated with the apps found in MobileMe -- and they've all been rewritten from the ground up. Contacts and calendars that are created or modified on one device are pushed to the cloud, and the changes propagate on all other devices instantly. Calendars have also had sharing features added so that you can send them to friends or coworkers.

iCloud also allows users to propagate app and iBooks purchases across devices. Purchase an iBook on your iPad, tap the new iCloud button, and the same book will be downloaded on your iPhone, for example. iCloud also features deep backup sets and automatically performs daily backups over Wi-Fi. Backups include music, books, apps, camera roll, device settings and app data.

iCloud also features an app called "Documents." When you create a new document in Pages, Keynote or Numbers, that document is automatically pushed to all the devices the user has Pages, Keynote or Numbers on. The iCloud Documents APIs will be made available to developers so that they can build the feature into their apps.

Another new feature: in the Photos iOS app there is a new album called Photo Stream, which allows any photos taken on any devices to be pushed to your other devices automatically. The last 1,000 photos will be stored on the cloud for 30 days and then be deleted from the cloud. In that time, you have the option of permanently saving any of those photos to any device you own. Finally, Apple has extended iCloud capabilities to iTunes. You can re-download (for free) any song you have previously purchased in iTunes on up to 10 devices that you own.

"We're making it free, and we're very excited about it. So that's iCloud. It stores your content and pushes it to all of your devices, and it's integrated with all your apps," Steve Jobs told the packed theater at WWDC.

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