Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday unveiled the company’s revamped strategy to cloud computing, showing off how users can create content and buy music from one computer or device, and have it all appear seamlessly on their other Apple devices without having to manually plug in and synchronize their devices any more.
Jobs took to the stage at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco Monday morning to a standing ovation.
He and his colleagues spent the morning detailing the the hundreds of improvements that Apple has been making to its personal computer operating system, its mobile device operating system, and its revamped online computing strategy.
The biggest change Apple revealed was its iCloud strategy, which replaces its MobileMe subscription service, which was plagued by inconsistency.
The new iCloud service is free, and it automatically synchs document, photo, music and book applications across multiple devices.
Users who buy books on one device or computer, for example, will automatically have access to those same books on their iPhone, or iPad. And documents that are created on one device will be synchronized with other computers or devices that the user signs into with their identification information.
Photos taken on an iPhone will automatically show up on any other Apple applications and devices that the user has.
“Keeping these devices in sync is driving us crazy,” Jobs was quoted as a saying by Wired.com in its live blog of the event.
Unlike the MobileMe service that it is replacing, the iCloud service will be free for up to five gigabytes, but certain other portions of the service will be offered for a charge.
For music, for example, iTunes users will be able to access music that they bought from iTunes from any device without having to synch them, and without having to pay extra.
But if they want the same convenience for music that they’ve purchased elsewhere and want stored and accessible online via multiple devices, they’ll have to pay $25 a year for iTunes to scan their library, and to “match” users’ music collection.
During their presentation at the kick-off event at the week-long Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco attended by 5,200 people, Apple executives reeled off a number of startling statistics.
Apple has sold more than 25 million iPads in 14 months, for example, and there are now more than 425,000 apps in the App Store, 90,000 of which are for the iPad, according to InformationWeek.
Apple has sold 15 billion songs through iTunes, and 130 million e-books.
The company will make its new mobile operating system and the iCloud service available this Fall and Lion, its new operating system for the Mac, available this July. Lion will only be available online through the Mac App Store.