While many of the features of MobileMe — Apple’s US$99-a-year subscription service of Internet tools —- are simply being upgraded in the move to iCloud, Apple says Gallery, iDisk, iWeb and data sync features will be canceled in the transition, notes “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com).
iSync, Apple’s Mac-centric tool for keeping data in sync among a variety of devices, is on the chopping block, as are Gallery media hosting, iDisk cloud storage and its integrated iWeb web hosting, the article adds. However, iCloud counterparts or replacements for at least some of the missing services are coming.
Since MobileMe is going the way of the dodo bird next year, what is this iCloud that’s going to replace it? It’s an upcoming, free cloud service that works with applications on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in “the cloud” and automatically and wirelessly push it to all your devices.
When anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices will be wirelessly updated almost instantly, according to Apple. The free iCloud services include:
° The former MobileMe services: Contacts, Calendar and Mail.
° The App Store and iBookstore will download purchased iOS apps and books to all your devices, not just the device they were purchased on. In addition, the App Store and iBookstore will let you see your purchase history. Tapping the iCloud icon will download any apps and books to any iOS device (up to 10 devices) at no additional cost.
° iCloud Backup, which will automatically back up your iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when you charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Backed up content will include purchased music, apps and books, Camera Roll (photos and videos), device settings and app data. If you replace your iOS device, just enter your Apple ID and password during setup and iCloud restores your new device.
° iCloud Storage, which will store all documents created using iCloud Storage APIs (application programming interfaces) and automatically push ’em to all your devices. When you change a document on any device, iCloud will automatically push the changes to all your devices. Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps already take advantage of iCloud Storage.
° Photo Stream, which will automatically upload the photos you take or import on any of your devices and wirelessly push them to all your devices and computers. It’s built into the photo apps on all iOS devices, iPhoto on Macs, and saved to the Pictures folder on a PC. To save space, the last 1,000 photos are stored on each device so they can be viewed or moved to an album to save. Macs and PCs will store all photos from the Photo Stream, since they have more storage. iCloud will store each photo in the cloud for 30 days.
° iTunes in the Cloud, which lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices.
In addition, music not purchased from iTunes can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that replaces your music with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version if Apple can match it to the songs in the iTunes Store. iTunes Match will be available this fall for a $24.99 annual fee.
With iCloud, users will get up to 5GB of free storage for their mail, documents and backup. What’s more, the storage for music, apps and books purchased from Apple, and the storage required by Photo Stream won’t count towards this 5GB total.
iCloud will be available this fall concurrent with iOS 5. Users can sign up for iCloud for free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or a Mac running Lion with a valid Apple ID.
— Dennis Sellers