Steve Jobs lit up a packed crowd at the World Wide Developer's conference in San Francisco today. The Apple CEO's presentation introduced some interesting updates to Apple's computer and mobile operating systems. But most intriguingly, he unveiled the company's hotly-anticipated iCloud service, which syncs users' music, photos, e-mail messages and backup data across every device (iPhone, iPad, MacBook etc). Here are the highlights from Jobs's presentation:
As Jobs put it today, "iCloud stores your content in the cloud and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices. It automatically uploads it, stores it, and pushes it." That includes photos, books, calendar information, videos and even the page numbers of the latest documents your reading on your iPhone or iPad. The basic cost to the user for all of this service snycing is nothing, which garnered a lot of applause at the conference. "There will be no advertising (contrary to previous rumors), and calendar, mail, and contact sync is free (for up to five gigs of mail)," writes Engadget's Joseph Flatley. "Also in store is the new PhotoStream cloud feature, which is essentially a gallery in Photos that exists on all of your iOS devices, Apple TV, your OS X and even your Windows PCs, and syncs through the cloud." As for your existing music library, iTunes will match your music to the cloud server for a fee: $25 per year for 5,000 songs. "Will this work with massive amounts of pirated music?" wonders Gizmodo's Sam Biddle. "We don't see how it couldn't. So whether you've amassed a giant library from CDs or the seedier corners of the internet, Apple's giving you unlimited access for 25 bucks a year. Someone at the RIAA just punched a hole in the wall."