Apple’s iCloud Beta Launches in the US

Apple’s iCloud beta has launched in the US, which is allowing some developers to test-run the replacement of MobileMe. iCloud is Apple’s new sync service, and it will be available in Canada starting in the fall. The iCloud will store your music, apps, calendars, docs, and more and allow you to wirelessly “push” your content to all your devices.

iCloud will basically make device integration seamless, simply because it will do all you need for you. When you create or edit a photo or doc or contact or calendar, etc. on your iPad, iPhone, Mac or even Windows PC, it will automatically push these changes to any other device you’ve chosen to be synced. Take a photo on your iPhone and it will be pushed to your iPad in seconds. This takes the MobileMe platform that many steps further in terms of ease-of-use and content-management – so much more than the typical cloud storage. And when you update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the new iOS5, your Apple apps integrate with iCloud automatically and backs them up as well. Notable, right?

The site is the online destination for all your data uploads. But further than just that, it will also house a web mail app, access to the Find My iPhone service, an address book for your contacts, and a calendar that stores your important dates and events. Perhaps one of the most notable advantages to the iCloud is the iCloud Control Panel for Windows which allows Microsoft users to configure the iCloud for a PC. It’s uncertain just how far the Windows integration will go, though photos, contacts, and calendars are supported in the beta.

All users will be given 5GB of cloud storage for free, which may not sound like much, but this quota doesn’t include your purchased music, apps, and books or your Photo Stream – inevitably the bulk of most users’ content. You will be able to purchase more storage space if necessary from the iCloud settings app on your iOS device of choice. The iCloud system will launch in Canada sometime in the fall. Until then, we’ll keep up-to-date on what the beta testers in the States are saying.