The iCloud, Apple's online storage of data, has revealed itself in the form of a beta version.
In June, Apple acknowledged that they needed to take the future of cloud storage seriously, and stated that iPads and iPhones would be set up and backed up sans computer.
But, for the time being, iCloud is only for developers. Currently, only iOS and Mac Developer Program members can set up iCloud on iOS, OS X Lion and Windows. But, although iCloud is currently only in a beta version, Apple has posted on its Web site that it will be released this fall to everyone.
How iCloud works is through iCloud Storage APIs (Application Programming Interface, which allow for applications to interact, or communicate). These APIs 'enable apps to store documents and key value data in iCloud.' It will automatically and wirelessly push documents to a user's device and update the information, be it a document, contact list, calendar, emails, media, or all of the above.
Rafael Fischmann, of MacMagazine blog, successfully logged into iCloud, and shared screen shots of the new apps. To see them click HERE. The apps seem to look just like those of an iPad, and reportedly behave in a similar way.
iCloud storage is not entirely free, but the first 5GB are, and should be plenty for basic users. Apple states on its website, 'iCloud stores your content so it's always accessible from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or PC,' and 'purchased music, apps, and books, as well as your Photo Stream, won't count against your free storage.'
For those who need a lot of storage, Apple is offering 10GB, 20GB and 50GB options with a range of $20 to $100, annually.
In comparison, Windows live SkyDrive offers 25GB of cloud space for free. Amazon Cloud Drive, like iCloud offers 5GB (enough space for 1000 songs) for free and then bumps up to 20GB for $20 (Apple offers 10GB for $20).