The iCloud.com website from Apple has gone live for a limited number of developers, enabling them to test the new online version of the company's MobileMe replacement. Apple has also released new beta versions of the iWork suite for iOS as well as iPhoto.
The iCloud service was announced by Steve Jobs at the WWDC in San Francisco in June as the company's new sync and storage service. When files, including documents, contacts, calendars, emails and media, are created or edited using an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Windows PC, they are automatically pushed to any other device chosen by the user. The service also provides a safe backup for files.
Pricing for iCloud was also announced. Apple will give users 5 GB of free iCloud storage for starters, without any ad displays. Pricing for 10 GB will be $20 per year, 20 GB is $40 per year and 50 GB will run $100 per year. Storage services may be purchased through the iOS5 iCloud settings panel. Photo stream images, which are hosted on iCloud for 30 days for free, as well as iTunes media and books, do not count toward the free 5 GB quota.
The iCloud.com site will also serve as an access point for browser access to emails, contacts and calendars. The beta site provides access to the Find My iPhone service, as well as a new section called iWork. It is not certain whether this area will offer editing functionality or only document viewing.
The service is set to launch sometime this fall, replacing Apple's current MobileMe sync services, which run $99 per year. iCloud functionality will be integrated with Apple's mobile devices via the iOS5 software update.
TechZone360 Contributing Editor
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