Back before Google launched the Android platform for mobile phones, Google and Apple were very buddy-buddy. But if the Android OS hadn’t already killed off the chances at friendship, one of Apple’s recent announcements certainly did: They’re entering the cloud. Apple’s cloud services will come in the form of “iCloud,” which synchronizes your application, music, calendar, selected content, and other personal information across all Apple devices.
This services in some ways mirrors existing options provided by Google and Amazon, two groups already in fierce competition with Apple. Google offers a variety of cloud-based productivity options through Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Docs, and the 1 GB of free file storage space in Google Docs. Also, like Google, the iCloud services will be made available to non-commercial users free of charge.
There are several areas, however, where iCloud is one-upping Google. This includes the free storage space of 5GB and, most importantly, the deals with music companies that allow Apple to synchronize music between devices. As Steve Jobs said, with iCloud and the upcoming Apple iOS 5, “when I buy a song on one of my devices it automatically downloads to all of my devices without having to sync or do anything at all.” Music synchronization does come with a $24.99/year fee.
iCloud is set for immediate release in beta format, and users can find out more about the service and how to register at the iCloudsite. iCloud is just one of several identity-based services announced by Apple at their Worldwide Developers Conference. Other major points include the release of a new OS version that can be downloaded and installed on all registered, compatible devices for a flat upgrade fee of $29.99 and the announcement of iOS 5 for the iPhone and iPad
[via Total Telecom]