Apple is again leading the way for mass movement to the new tech buzz of "the cloud". The Apple iCloud is a combination of online services that integrate with numerous devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod music player. The concept of the iCloud is indeed very much similar to Amazon and Google’s online sync and streaming service. The iCloud is the enhanced, cheaper, and more accessible version of MobileMe. A quick and exciting list of the new and improved iCloud features include:
iTunes in the Cloud
- An initial and free 5GB iCloud storage!!
- iTunes in the Cloud
- iTunes Match
- Photo Stream
- Device Backup capabilities
- iBooks & iBookstore
- Better email, contacts, and calendar sync
With the coming iCloud implementation, all iTunes purchases will be made available online on your account. This enables you to sync purchased items from the iTunes store to any of the support Apple devices.
Apple took its cue from the Amazon Cloud Player
by offering the similar service for syncing purchased music. Purchased music from iTunes do not count on the storage limit of your iCloud account. iTunes Match
Apple knows that most iTunes music are also from other sources and purchases other than the iTunes store. To prevent the hassle of having to upload your computer’s iTunes music and then download them again when you play on the iPad, iTunes Match will literally examine the old iTunes library, suggest the identical songs from the iTunes store, and then make that song available to your other mobile devices. This is clearly a step forward compared to the Amazon Cloud Player where you have to manually upload previously bought music. Photo Stream
Since nearly all Apple devices from the iPod to the iPad2 have cameras, the iCloud is made for synching photos taken from any Apple device to any other iCloud enabled gadget. To save on storage space for mobile devices, Photo Stream stores the last 1000 photos on each of your devices, and you can save them permanently in an album on your Mac or PC. Backup Files and Settings
Similar to its MobileMe predecessor, the iCloud allows you to have a secure online backup of your messages, contacts, messages, and purchased Appstore Apps. The backup is also available when you change your phone; when you enter your Apple ID and password during setup, iCloud restores your items to your new device. iBooks and iBookstore
While slightly taking aim at the eBook market of Amazon, the iBooks feature allows you to synch and distribute online purchased books to your Apple devices. You are no longer tied to the iPad for late night reading. You can pull and sync iBooks to your iPhone or iPod. Better Email, Contacts, and Calendar Sync
The iCloud brings improvement to the the familiar email, contacts, and calendar applications. With iCloud right above you, rest assured that your quick contact notes and calendar events on the iPad is saved and synced to your business iPhone and Mac book.
The iCloud takes the idea of syncing and backup to the cloud very seriously. Its initial release of features and capabilities will give the user’s freedom and peace of mind with syncing important emails, sms messages, pictures, and a solid backup/restore solution. It would be exciting to see how Amazon’s Cloud Storage/Player and Google’s upcoming Google Music, will compete and improve to favor the users. We give credit to Apple for launching an easy to manage sync and backup program to the cloud.