Apple introduces iCloud, new FREE server hub and sync for all your stuff

Steve Jobs put sneaker to WWDC stage again today to introduce iCloud, their new cloud services offering that aims to replace a lot of the local, cabled computing of our past with new, wireless computing for the future.

And best of all, it's going to be FREE. Everyone gets 5GB, and books, Photostream, and apps don't count. It works with 4.3 (as a beta) today, and iOS 5 in the future.

Content storage Keeps all your stuff, syncs it to all your devices

MobileMe Written from the ground up to support iCloud

Calendar sharing: No more workarounds needed. You can share your events.

No ads Clearly a shot at Google

iBooks also sync, pretty much like they did before

Backups: Over wi-fi only. Music, iBooks, photos and videos, device settings, and app data (yes!)

Document sharing: iWork suite, Pages, Keynote, Numbers can sync docs between devices. Promises complete storage story.

PhotoStream: Photos go up from your devices to iCloud, and down to your devices from iCloud. Stores last 1000 photos, stores for 30 days.

iTunes in the Cloud: re-download your music, just like you've been re-downloading apps. Automatic downloads as well. Up to 10 devices, so no "all devices" 256kb AAC

iTunes Match service: You can sync stuff you already own to iCloud, you can re-buy a few songs you love, or you can use iTunes Match service. It'll scan your collection, if it finds it in the iTunes catalog, it makes it available to you in 256kb AAC. Costs $25 a year.

Developer beta available today.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

Dood says:

Wonder what happens to those that just re-upped their MobileMe subs in the last few months?

deviantdj says:

There was word that some subscribers were already receiving refunds. This explains why.

Nigel says:

that would be great... $150 in May was a bitter pill... and even more so with all this being free. We have not seen a refund yet...

Dood says:

I re-upped in May. No refund seen yet.

chris4851 says:

My subscription was coming to an end June 2011, next month and Apple extended this an additional year. Now expires June 2012.

Brandon says:

Yay! This will be great as I'm a multi-iOS device household and will make life MUCH easier. I hope there is a setting to limit this to wifi-only though for those who are on more limited dataplans (not me!) - not just the backup feature.

audit says:

Not liking the Mobile ME part if it uses the apple ID. I don't need my wife's apps and stuff on my iPhone and she sure can't have mine on her iPhone due to all the confidential info I have on it for work. Same with backups.

deviantdj says:

With your machine syncs it creates a seperate backup file for each device. I'm sure it will be the same.

audit says:

My wife NEVER syncs her's with the laptop. I always have to do the software and app updates for her because she doesn't understand why she needs them. All her contacts are stored on MobileMe though.

deviantdj says:

If you've ever done an upgrade for her, and selected backup, it creates a separate file. It's going to work the same way, just over the air.

audit says:

Yea I always do a backup about twice a month for her. On mine I back it up every day. Not crazy about the photo changes though since we used that for our family photo albums for family and close friends. I also keep a separate contact list on MobileMe then what I have on my Exchange for iPhone so I'm wondering how that's going to be affected.

Nettwerk says:

I want money back for MobileMe. I paid when renewed my account 3 month ago...

Morac says:

I'm confused, it supposedly enabled today, but how do you get it?
Also what happens to existing MobileMe accounts?

Dood says:
-that's what I get when I try to access my account settings in Something must be cooking there.

Nigel says:

I get the same... down for maintenance... I'm down for a refund...

Nigel says:

come to think of it I'm UP for a refund, not down.

jl6172 says:

Any idea how websites created with iWeb are going to work now that Mobile Me is going away?

GolfnCPA says:

Good for the calendar sharing as long as it doesn't sync contacts as well.

Dark_Blu says:

Does it automatically sync your pics, music, and docs, or can you manually sync, or can you turn off auto sync?

(Copy of) Dev says:

Does calendar sharing work only between iCloud devices? I am sure I am not alone in this, but I currently share calendars between users of iOS, Android, and Blackberry users. iCloud would be a non-starter if the only devices allowed to access/edit/sync were iOS devices.

sfwrtr says:

Wonder if this means that if I install an app on my iPad that it will receive my iPhone app data. That would be huge!

sangs says:

So 5GB are free. And if you have more than 5 GB of music, which I assume many of us do, what then?

blake says:

music doesnt count towards the 5gb

LaresDJ says:

Where can I download iCloud??

Susannafantich says:

Icloud is NOT working as well as my mobileme did- this sucks! Nothing is syncing correctly. says:

Soccer is going to be more popular in the US than football in a few years. The viewing rates are incredible. Best sport on earth.