About the iCloud and Lion Announcement


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This past Monday, Apple made several announcements at the keynote at WWDC about the upcoming releases of Lion, iOS 5 and the new iCloud.

While the iCloud announcement was covered both on the evening news and in the newspaper, I wanted to share with you some important details that either weren't covered or weren't covered well.

iCloud is the new service that automatically syncs all of your Macs and iDevices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). That may sound a lot like MobileMe and in fact iCloud is replacing MobileMe when iCloud is released this fall.

So what does this mean for MobileMe? Steve Jobs said "as of today, MobileMe no longer exists." That is true only in the sense that you can no longer buy it or set up new accounts. If you have a MobileMe account, everything is still the same today as it was last week. In fact, everyone who has a current MobileMe account has had the expiration date extended to June 30, 2012. After that date MobileMe will be shut down but everyone should have migrated to iCloud by then.

See all the features of iCloud here.

While iCloud introduces many new features that MobileMe doesn't have, there are features of MobileMe that don't currently appear to be a part of iCloud such as iDisk, Galleries, and iWeb hosting. Apple has promised that more details about migrating from MobileMe to iCloud will be made available closer to fall. I predict that most parts of MobileMe will have an equivalent counterpart in iCloud although some features like Backup 3 may disappear.

iCloud is going to be free for most of its features. That is good for those of us who have been spending $99 per year for MobileMe or for those of you who thought MobileMe was too expensive.

iCloud is going to be useful to anyone who has more than one Mac and/or iDevices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). Even though it will be free and very tightly integrated into Macs and iDevices, you won't be required to use it. In fact, iCloud will require Lion on your Macs.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Amazon and Google's take on music in the cloud and I said I wasn't very impressed. iCloud is going to be far more than what Amazon and Google offer. I think it is going to be an excellent addition to the Apple ecosystem.

If you want to know more about what "the cloud" really is that everyone is talking about these days, check out this extremely geeky article on Tidbits.

As we get closer to fall, I'll let you know what to expect on the MobileMe to iCloud Migration.

There wasn't too much new information about Lion in the keynote. The big news was that it will be released in July and will cost a low low $30 for all of your Macs. (no more Family Pack required). I'm not doing to discuss features too much until after Lion is released and I get my hands on it. You can get a preview on Apple's website.

With the release of Lion roughly a month away, it's time to start thinking and planning now. I suggest you review this recent tip for more info. Also, this very old tip about upgrading to Leopard has some useful advice on when you should upgrade.

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