Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces iCloud during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) SAN FRANCISCO (AP)--Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday ushered his company and, by extension, the global computing industry into the "cloud" era. "We are going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud," Jobs said. The new iCloud service replaces Apple's MobileMe document-sharing offering, which cost $99 a year. The new iCloud service is free and available now with an iOS 4.3 update, Jobs said. With iCloud, content such as music and documents is stored on large servers instead of on personal hard drives--and is accessible from anywhere through the Internet. Apple will provide 5 gigabytes of free storage for mail, documents and backup. The new iCloud service is Apple's seal of approval of what many experts believe is the next major iteration of the digital world.
All of Apple's devices Monday "have communications systems built into them," Jobs said. "They can all talk to the cloud. Everything syncs without us having to think about it. We don't even have to take it out of my pocket." Perhaps the biggest star of the iCloud service is the new iTunes function that lets people download songs to up to 10 devices at no extra cost. "This is the first time we have seen this in the music industry no charge for multiple downloads for different devices," Jobs said. "Any song I buy on any device will automatically be downloaded to all my devices." The iCloud service includes automatic backup functions for all devices. It also allows iPhone owners to update the device with all of the data and the ability to start reading a book on an iPad and picking it up later on the same page on an iPhone. The service works with documents created on various devices. Documents can be updated on all devices when changed on any of them.
Posters on display at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 6, 2011. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is scheduled to take a break from medical leave Monday to announce a new service called iCloud. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Photo Stream will allow a person to take a photograph on an iPhone, upload it to iCloud, then download it to all devices, from the iPad to a Mac to Apple TV, Jobs said. Photos will be stored for 30 days on the service, and devices will store the last 1,000 photos taken. If a Photo Stream user wants to store a photo permanently, it needs to be moved into an album on a Mac or PC. Earlier, Apple showed new versions of its software for Mac computers and mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Just after 10 a.m., Jobs took the stage at Moscone Center in San Francisco for the kickoff of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. As Jobs strolled on stage, he basked in the applause as one member of the audience shouted, "We love you." "Thank you. It always helps and I appreciate it very much," Jobs said. The conference has 5,200 attendees, Jobs said. "Today it is all about software," he said. "If the hardware is the brain and sinew of our products, the software in them are its soul," Jobs said. "Today we are going to talk about software."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about Lion during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, said 25 million iPads have been sold and more than 14 billion apps have been sold through the App Store. He introduced iOS 5, the latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad. It includes 200 new features. The new software which will ship in the fall allows iPad and iPhone owners to set up and activate their devices without being connected to a computer. Software updates will be available "over the air," Forstall said. "We are living in a PC-free world. With the iPad, we are ushering in the post-PC world," he said. "If you want to cut the cord, you can." Among the new functions is "Notifications Center," which lets device owners know when they have email or text messages. They can access incoming messages with a finger swipe. The Newstand a one-stop app for buying publications combines all the newspaper and magazine subscriptions a user has purchased. New issues can be automatically downloaded. Another iOS 5 feature is a fast tab function that can be used to quickly flip through different windows. Forstall said the new iOS comes with new photo-editing functions. It also will let iPhone users use the camera quickly and the "volume up" button to snap pictures. The iOS 5 software also comes with updated mail features, such as the ability to search all messages on the phone and on servers, as well as message flag and unflag functions. It includes a new messaging service, called iMessage, that will connect iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. The service will include the ability to send text messages, videos and photos. Senders can check delivery and read receipts to ensure the person received the material. A conversation can start on an iPad, then be picked up later on an iPhone. Apple also announced greater integration with Twitter, so that you can tweet photos, for instance, directly from a photo app. Earlier, Jobs handed the stage over to one of his top executives, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, who introduced the latest version of the Macintosh operating system, Lion, which has 250 new features. Lion, which will cost $29.99, will be available in July through the Mac App Store or for free on all new Macintosh computers, Schiller said. It won't be available on discs as in the past. The Lion download can be used on multiple Macs that are owned by the same person. Making the Mac more like the iPhone and iPad, Apple is adapting more applications to run in full-screen mode rather than in smaller windows. Swipe gestures control the full-screen apps. Other highlights include new multitouch functions; "Mission Control," a feature that lets users view all the programs that are running and tap on any document to bring it to the front; and auto save, which lets users revert to an earlier version of a document. Another feature of Lion is AirDrop, a document-sharing function that lets users swap files over a Wi-Fi network. There is also a revamped mail application that includes a favorites bar and new search abilities. Schiller said Apple's Mac Store which is part of the new Lion operating system, not a separate download application as it is now has become the No. 1 channel for buying software, leaping over retail giants such as Best Buy. Hours before the event, thousands of developers ringed the city block around the Moscone West building. Mimes dressed in colorful full-body suits silently performed in front of the waiting engineers. Free coffee was offered to the chilly faithful, some of whom camped out overnight. "It's a bit of a cult maybe more than a cult," said Martin Roth, chief technology officer of music app developer Reality Jockey. Roth had flown in Saturday from London and hoped to be in line early enough to be among the fortunate few squeezed into the auditorium with Jobs. He quickly surmised, though, that he probably would be stuck in an overflow area. "It's really about being in the same room with Steve Jobs," Roth said.
Gavon Laessig is a deputy news director and front page editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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