While countless Apple fans were anticipating an iPhone 5, Apple instead gave them the iCloud, iOS 5 and the Lion OS for the Mac.
It wasn't the slam dunk keynote address WWDC has had in the past, but it still introduced a flurry of impressive new services. The most buzzworthy was the iCloud, which will allow consumers to automatically and wirelessly store content in the cloud and push it to any device without them having to do anything.
Some people think the cloud is just a big disk in the sky... We think it's way more than that, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said during the event.
Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January for undisclosed reasons, gave an enthusiastic keynote and was rewarded with a standing ovation at the conclusion of the address. He did not talk about his health or working status.
The biggest iCloud inclusion is iTunes for the cloud. This allows for consumers to download previously purchased iTunes music to all of their iOS devices at no additional cost. New music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. Music not purchased via iTunes, can be synced and matched for $25 per year. The service will be available in beta, without iTunes Match, on iOS 4.3.
In addition, Apple also said the former MobileMe services, which Jobs admitted was not the company's finest offering, were eliminated and restructured as iCloud apps. This included Contacts, Calendar and Mail for the cloud, all updates can work seamlessly with iCloud across various devices. In addition, iCloud includes a number of other apps such as the iTunes feature and also including the app store and iBookstore for the cloud. On all, a change on one device is automatically updated to another device.
Photo Stream was another iCloud app. Photos uploaded to one device will be available on all others for 30 days. The last 1,000 photos will be saved and this will be done over Wi-Fi.
There's also Documents In the Cloud, which eliminates the need for files. It stores all documents created on an Apple device using iCloud Storage APIs, and automatically pushes them to all your devices. A change on one device goes to all of them. Along with this, there is iCloud backup. Backed up content includes purchased music, apps and books, Camera Roll (photos and videos), device settings and app data.
Documents in the Cloud really completes our iOS document storage story. A lot of us have been working for 10 years to get rid of the file system so the user doesn't have to learn about it, Jobs said.
Developers will get a beta of iCloud available immediately. For the rest, it will be available this fall with iOS 5. Users can sign up for free iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or a Mac running Mac OS X Lion with a valid Apple ID. For storage, users will get 5 GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup.
To show its commitment to the iCloud, Apple showed off its data center in North Carolina.
At the event, Apple also introduced iOS 5 and its new features including integrated messaging, notification center and Twitter integration. iOS will be available in the fall. Mac OS X Lion will be available in July as an upgrade for $30 with new multi-touch gesturing and full screen features.
Unlike last year, when Jobs introduced the iPhone 4, there was no new hardware at the WWDC. This likely means the next iPhone update will come in the fall of this year when iOS 5 is available for consumers. Until then, Apple will fans will simply have to wait.