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Apple's WWDC 2011: iCloud

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Here is a rundown of Apple's new iCloud service presented at WWDC 2011.

Device Syncing
Take a photo with your iPhone and it's synced directly to your MacBook and other iOS devices. Your content is stored in iCloud and wirelessly pushes to all your devices automatically.

Contact Updates
Similar to Google's contacts, any updates to a user's contact info is automatically reflected in every device.

Calendar Updates
Any change made in iCal will be pushed to other devices. Events can also be shared with other users.

Grab an account and messages are synced and pushed across all devices. Inbox and folders are kept up-to-date everywhere. No ads! (Well, I guess thre's one thing different from Gmail.)

App Installations
Even if a certain app is on another device, you'll be able to access it from your current device.

iBooks, Pages, Numbers, Keynote
Also syncable.

Photo Stream
Photos are synced as a separate album in iPhoto for the Mac and in the Pictures folder for the PC. To store them permanently in iOS, simply drag them into offline storage. For Macs and PCs, offline storage is automatic. iCloud will store the last 1,000 photos for 30 days.

Any purchased tracks can be viewed and synced to any device -- up to ten -- for free. Buy a track on an iPod and access it from an iPhone. Syncing can be done automatically or manually. No streaming from the cloud! Huge minus!

iTunes Match
Apple's official renaming of the scan-and-match feature in Lala, iTunes Match will detect every track in your collection and match it against the 18 million songs in the iTunes Store. No uploading needed for every track. If a match is made, the quality is set to 256Kbps AAC without DRM. Unfortunately, this service is "separate" from iCloud and costs $24.99 per year.

iCloud Storage APIs
Full documents or key value data. Available for all iOS Devices -- including Macs and PCs!

Automatic Backups
Your content is backed up to iCloud everyday automatically. To view it, simply login with your user account and all activity is accessible.

Up to 5GB of storage, but your Photo Stream and Music Downloads don't count against it.

Cost: Free. Available with iOS 5 this Fall.

(See also: Apple's WWDC 2011: Mac OS X Lion and Apple's WWDC 2011: iOS 5)

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