Apple is demoting the PC and the Mac to “just devices” after being the sync centers of the past 10 years and Cupertino does that by introducing the iCloud, “moving the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud”.
Regardless if we talk about your Mac, iPod, iPad or iPhone, the Apple devices will sync with the cloud at any time. With iCloud, information is automatically uploaded to iCloud and then pushed back to all of your Apple devices so you have the latest files and versions at any time. “Everything happens automatically and there’s nothing new to learn. It just all works” says Steve Jobs.
Contacts, Calendars, and Mail are all part of it and iCloud will take the place of MobileMe which as of today ceases to exist — what about those $99? iCloud will be free of ads and free of charge — coming this fall — and the good old MobileMe applications have been re-written from scratch to become iCloud.
Applications are also part of iCloud so that when you buy and download a new application or replace your device, everything is synced into place. iCloud is also about Backup: “every day content will be backed up” meaning that you buy a new smartphone, enter your ID and everything is pushed to you the same way it was on your old iPhone. The backup feature will only work over WiFi and will back up purchased music, apps, and books, photos and video in the Camera Roll, device settings, app data, home screen and app organization, Text and MMS messages as well as Ringtones.
Documents in the cloud means that when you create a Pages, Numbers or Keynote document, it will automatically be uploaded to the cloud and then pushed to all devices that have those apps installed. Last week’s versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iPhone already have those featured built-in. Applications will be able to store documents in the cloud so developers get iCloud APIs to develop their apps.
Books are no exception either. When you buy a book on one of your devices it will shop up automatically on the others. Additionally, pictures will be synced to the cloud too, automatically, so when you snap one with your iPhone it will be loaded up in the cloud and synced with your other devices. This is a little bit like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 capability of uploading the image snapped to Skydrive. Apple’s cloud will keep a copy of the images for 30 days and it will store 1,000 pictures on your devices — you can of course choose which to permanently keep.