Apple Officially Launches the iCloud

June 6, 2011

Steve Jobs returned from sick leave to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference for Apple. Jobs focused on software announcing the revolutionary iCloud and exciting new operating systems for the Mac and iPhone.

Today’s announcements by Apple at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference focused on software rather than flashy new gadgets. There was no new iPhone, iPad, or equivalent device. Apple CEO Steve Jobs noted the shift this year saying, “If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of the product, the software in the middle is the soul.”

Jobs used the conference to officially launch iCloud, a system of remote storage which allows users to access their data, such as songs, movies, and images from any device with an internet connection. Jobs described iCloud as a major shift in the way users’ information is stored. Job said, “We're going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We're going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” For instance users will be able to take a photo on their iPhone and have it sync to their iBook or iPad. iCloud will be available for free and their will be no ads on the service. It is will work on iOS devices and Macs.

Jobs famed “one more thing” announcement was iTunes Match. This gives users the ability to match all the song on a device to the cloud, whether they were purchased through iTunes or not. Users will be able to match as many songs they like for a yearly fee of $24.99. The process will take “minutes, not weeks” and is cheaper and faster than similar services offered by Amazon and Google. Jobs called it “an industry-leading offer.”

Apple also announced new versions of their operating systems. Mac OS X 0.7, a.k.a. Lion, has some 250 new features and will be available for purchase through the iTunes app store for the low price of $29. iOS5 (used on iPhones, iPad, and iPod Touch) was described as a “major release” and includes 200 new features. Some of those new features include the ability to take a photograph by clicking the volume-up button, a quicker and simpler way to use Twitter and a new “Notification Center” that will replace the current pop-ups that appear and combine all notifications in one place.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images