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By 7 June 2011 | Categories: news

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As more and more businesses are moving towards the cloud, it seems that a major migratory channel for consumers have also now been opened, thanks to Apple introducing its iCloud service.

As has been seen with the iPod and iPad, once Apple embraces a technology it irrevocably draws millions of new users, and the company is surely hoping that iCloud can do the same thing for cloud computing.

Apple's new iCloud service is all about usability, with its most flaunted features being that it can seamlessly connect your multiple devices to one another. With iCloud Apple users will be able to sync their applications between their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC, allowing one to update content simultaneously across all devices. This means that when you update or change an app on your iPhone for example, all your devices will be wirelessly updated to the same standard.

“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it's integrated into our apps you don't even need to think about it – it all just works.”

Among the many features and advantages which iCloud will bring to the table is Apple's former MobileMe services, completely rewritten to work with iCloud. This includes Contacts, Calendar and Mail services, with your mailboxes constantly kept up to date across your devices.

More impressively is the fact that App Store and iBookstore purchases will now be downloaded to all your devices simultaneously, not just to the one you purchased it on. Users can also tap the new iCloud icon to download any app to up to ten additional iOS devices at no extra charge.

With iCloud Apple users will also be able to wave goodbye to annoying backups, with iCloud Backup automatically backing up data on your iOS devices on a daily basis. The Wi-Fi backup will be enabled whenever you charge your mobile iOS device, with purchased music, apps, books as well as your photos, videos, device settings and app data being backed up.

iCloud Storage will also enable easy tracking of documents created using iCloud Storage APIs, storing and sending copies of documents to all your devices. Each user will get up to 5 GB of free storage for their mail, documents and backup on iCloud Storage, and not to worry because music, apps, books and photo content doesn't count towards your 5 GB total. Users will also be able to purchase additional storage.

Keeping a grip on your sprawling photo collection will also be made easier with iCloud, with each photo you take on an iOS device being automatically uploaded and saved to all your devices. This means you can take a photo on your iPhone in the morning, show it to your colleagues on your iPad in the afternoon and view it on your PC or Mac when you come home that night, not having to transfer files once.

Your last 1 000 photos will be saved on mobile devices (due to storage constraints), giving you the option of permanently saving them, with all photos being stored on your Mac or PC. The iCloud service will keep each photo for 30 days as well.

Apple's iTunes music service will also undergo some changes thanks to iCloud, with users able to send previously purchased music to all their devices at no additional cost. A new iTunes Match service will also allow you to utilise legal music not purchased via the iTunes store (at a cost).

The iCloud service will be available this fall (spring for us) concurrent with the release of iOS 5. iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users will be able to sign up to the iCloud service for free, as will Mac OS X Lion users with a valid Apple ID. The service includes 5 GB of free online storage as well as the convenience of knowing your data is being shared across all your devices.

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