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Moving On Up To The iCloud

First of all, how can I possibly write anything tech today that doesn’t reference the passing of Steve Jobs? Well, I can’t.

So I’m tackling iCloud.

iCloud is Apple’s solution to cloud storage.

iCloud Features
• 5GB of cloud storage (not counting music and pics)
• data sync with all Apple devices
• automatically stores email, calendar, and contacts

Unveiled in June 2011, iCloud basically stores all your data so you can access it from any Apple device. So assuming you’re Apple-centric, this could replace Google docs, gmail, Dropbox and even Spotify, Picasa and Flickr, I suppose. It’s being referred to as a data syncing service and/or data sharing. The intention is to make all your devices “portals” with the cloud becoming your central hub of information.

Note that iCloud is not unlimited. It’s got 5GB of storage (you’ll be able to pay for more) for everything except music and images. Pictures don’t have a cap but instead, an expiration date. Photo Stream gives you a rolling clip of your most recent thousand photos and 30 days allotted to download them. You’ll still need your computer to back them up permanently.

How does iCloud compare to MobileMe? iCloud replaces MobileMe and Apple users don’t have much of a choice on this matter. Already, MobileMe is not taking new subscribers and I haven’t heard much about how the transition will be orchestrated. However, as far as I can tell, it’s an upgrade (minus iWeb sites and iDisk. Hmmm….). And MobileMe was $99/year. By next fall, MobileMe will be gone entirely.

In contrast, iCloud is free — unless you need more storage for your music which costs $25/year and that also gives you iTunes Match — which scans your library and looks for matches on its 18 million+ library. If it matches, then you’ll be able to download the tracks to your devices, regardless of where you got those tracks in the first place. No questions. For now. :)

So overall, it sounds like an upgrade. Just another way that Apple will be changing my life.

Here’s to Steve, now hopping from heavenly (i)Cloud to another. Thanks for all the stuff. Truly. But more importantly, thanks for the amazing demo on how to live — no compromises, no apologies.

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