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Apple unveils iCloud; what is it all about?

Last updated on: June 7, 2011 13:51 IST

Apple unveils iCloud; what is it all about?

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At the Apple's WWDC keynote presentation in San Francisco on Monday, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled a whole array of new and updated iOS mobile software.

But the latest thing announced at the conference was Apple iCloud, a file sharing and streaming service that requires no wired connections.

With iCloud and wireless computing, a user can use iOS devices - the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - without having to depend upon a personal computer.

In other words, a user will be able to download apps, songs, documents and other media, and sync media between these devices without the use of a single USB cord.

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Image: Steve Jobs announced a whole array of new and updated mobile software on Monday.
Photographs: Reuters
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Apple's Steve Jobs unveils iCloud

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"Keeping those devices in sync is driving us crazy," Jobs told the audience at Moscone Center West.

"We are going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud."

Jobs, who has been on a medical leave since January, appeared thin but relatively energetic as he led developers and the press through coming updates to the operating systems of Macintosh, mobile devices and the cloud.

Jobs said the new sync services will move users closer to a future where tablets and phones don't require a connection to desktops and laptops to get updates. From now on, Jobs said, software updates will be delivered to users wirelessly.

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Image: Jobs says digital life will move into the cloud.
Photographs: Reuters
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Apple's Steve Jobs unveils iCloud

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The service replaces MobileMe, a service that stumbled upon its launch in 2008 and failed to gain significant traction.

Jobs promised iCloud would mark a significant improvement.

"It wasn't our finest hour - let me just say that," he said of MobileMe. "But we learned a lot."

The announcement also move Apple closer to what it calls "the post-PC future."

When iCloud arrives, customers will be able to set up new iPhones and iPads just by entering their existing Apple ID and password. They can also create a new account on the device.

From there, customers' mail, photos, music, contacts and other information will download to the new device automatically.

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Image: Announcement moves Apple closer to what it calls post-PC future.
Photographs: Reuters
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Apple's Steve Jobs unveils iCloud

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With iCloud, all apps, music, camera photos will be backed up on an hourly basis, which means users don't have to worry about backing up the data themselves.

When a user downloads an app from the App Store on to an iOS device, it will always be on Apple's server to download again, even if the user loses or damages iOS device or Mac.

If say the internal hard drive of Mac permanently crashes, the user can re-download to the devices all the apps purchased in the store with only one single license - your Apple ID.

iCloud registrants will also get a free mail, address and calendar account - all three of which can be synced between devices.

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Image: With iCloud, all data will be backed up on an hourly basis.
Photographs: Reuters
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Apple's Steve Jobs unveils iCloud

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When iClouds and the new iOS 5 apps are released, new apps and services will make managing media easy.

Apple has sold more than 200 million iOS devices, a category that includes the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, the Cupertino, California-based company said when it unveiled iCloud.

Apple's App Store now has more than 425,000 applications that work with iOS. "We're going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device - just like an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod Touch," Jobs, dressed in a black sweater and jeans, said.

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Image: Apple has sold more than 200 million iOS devices.
Photographs: Reuters
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Apple's Steve Jobs unveils iCloud

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Apple recently completed a $1 billion data centre in North Carolina that will serve as the backbone of the iCloud service. It will help devices synchronize calendar items, contacts, mail, iTunes songs, photos, apps and other files.

"If you don't think we're serious about this, you're wrong," Jobs said while showing pictures of the data centre.

Monday's event marked Jobs's second public appearance of 2011. Though he has been on medical leave since January 17, Jobs remains involved in Apple's decision making.

His absence is the third since 2004 as he copes with a rare form of cancer.


Image: Monday's event marked Jobs's second public appearance of 2011.
Photographs: Reuters
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