You know how Mac OS X Lion kind of makes your full-bodied Macintosh look a little more like an iPad? Well, turns out that's exactly the point: "We're going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device," Steve Jobs said, onstage at WWDC today. "We're going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud."
Apple's iCloud service will give you 5GB of data to play with to start, and will pull in most of your photos, documents and music, as well as other information such as phone and email contacts and whatever you put into iCalendar. Then, you should be able to access that data on any OS X or iOS device, meaning a change to your schedule on your MacBook would push to your iPhone instantly, and photos or songs you take or buy on your iPhone will pop up on your laptop.
All that sounds neat, but the big question is how it works with iTunes. iCloud will act as a virtual music locker for all of the purchases you've made on iTunes, meaning that you can access those songs, videos and what-have-you on any Apple device that supports it.
For songs you didn't get on iTunes? (As in ripped from CDs, songs given to you by a friend or downloaded elsewhere.) Apple will give you the option of rebuying that content through iTunes, or paying the company $25 a year to have iTunes auto-match what content it can and give you access to. That auto-match option sounds particularly intriguing, and we have to wonder if Apple is paying through the nose for that in private.
You'll be able to try out iCloud for yourself this fall when it releases alongside iOS 5. And why not? It's free!
(Further reading: The Huffington Post as a pretty good breakdown of iCloud versus other services out there right here.)
Via Geek Sugar