Apple Flips the Switch, iCloud Goes Live

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Apple opened iCloud to the public early Wednesday morning ahead of the release of iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iCloud replaces MobileMe as Apple’s online data syncing and sharing service.

iCloud was previously available to registered iOS developers as a beta service. Apple confirmed its plan to open iCloud to all users on October 12 during its iPhone 4S introduction event last week.

iCloud, now openApple opens iCloud to the public

With the public launch of iCloud, Apple has begun phasing out MobileMe, although subscribers can continue to use the now deprecated service through June 30, 2012. That extension gives MobileMe users time to transition files, Web sites and photo galleries to other services ahead of their move to iCloud.

iCloud is designed to work with iOS 5 and OS X Lion 10.7.2 to automatically sync files, contacts, calendars, photos and more between devices.

iCloud carries over several MobileMe features such as calendar and contact syncing, as well as me.com and mac.com email addresses. It also adds:

  • Calendar sharing
  • App Store purchase management with auto-download for new purchases
  • Support for pushing iBooks bookmarks to other iOS devices
  • Daily data backups over Wi-Fi connections
  • Auto-save support for storing documents on iCloud
  • Photo Stream for pushing photos from the camera roll to iCloud, iPhoto and Apple TV
  • iTunes in the Cloud for sharing iTunes libraries with up to ten devices
  • 5GB of storage, and purchased music, App Store purchases, iBookstore purchases, and Photo Stream pics don’t count against the data storage cap.

iCloud is available as a free service, although subscribers can pay for additional online storage space.

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12 Comments Leave Your Own

patrick

Not yet on this end (Canada). Still getting the developer only message when I try to move my MobileMe account. Or perhaps the transition isn’t yet available?

mjkphoto

I was just told by an Apple Care Representative that the cloud will work for those of us who choose to remain on 10.6.8! So much misinformation out there. Please update your article.

MobileMe is not working, but I’m told the service will be back up later this morning (early afternoon) once iCloud “fully drops.”

Thank you, Apple.

Esteban

Not yet in Japan….

snaab4

Here are two questions for you, Jeff:

1. I have five aliases in my MobileMe account.  Will I be keeping them when I switch to iCloud?

2. My MobileMe and iTunes Store accounts use the same Apple ID.  Will I be able to create a new Appple ID for iCloud when I transition my MobileMe account?  (I wish to separate them for security reasons)

LarryR

I get a re-direct to MobileMe, and then I’m told it’s only available for registered developers.  So much for the “public launch.”

rlo

I see the new site, but without 10.7.2 you still are not able to log in.

Substance

I see the new site, but without 10.7.2 you still are not able to log in.

@rlo: I think if you have Lion you will need 10.7.2.  I too had heard that iCloud will work with Snow Leopard, presumably with the latest version of an update that has yet to be released.  I’ve not made the switch to Lion yet so I should know in a day or two whether that’s the case or not.

dannsh

So if you have 10.5.8 on a PowerPC G5 so iCloud is a bust? What if your family has snow leopard? What if you have two iTouch 4 gens?  Will me.com still be available for 10.5.8? If you cannot mix and match what use is iCloud? Just wondering! PS: seems like a poor decision.

crazyjay

10:25am Central, am told on site that is only open for developers.  guess i gotta wait.  am on Lion 10.7.1, itunes updated last night.

mjkphoto

So if you have 10.5.8 on a PowerPC G5 so iCloud is a bust? What if your family has snow leopard? What if you have two iTouch 4 gens?? Will me.com still be available for 10.5.8? If you cannot mix and match what use is iCloud? Just wondering! PS: seems like a poor decision.

I was told this morning that as long as I’ve updated to 10.6.8, iCloud will work. That implies it will not work for 10.5.8. Jury is still out on whether all features of iCloud will work for those of us not wanting to upgrade to Lion. Clearly, Lion-specific features will not work with 10.6.8.

I was also told that me.com emails will continue to work on iCloud. MobileMe will remain “functional” until June 2012. I guess we won’t fully know what to expect until MobileMe shuts down for good.

Apple is pushing us to Lion, whether we like it or not. Progress. Even if some features run counter to your personal workflow. That’s what you get with Think Different these days.

mjkphoto

According to Apple’s iCloud web page:

iCloud requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2; a Mac computer with OS X Lion; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 required for accessing contacts and calendars). Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.

Music features of iCloud require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2; iOS 5 on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Download iTunes 10.5 free.

That information contradicts what I was told this morning. When I entered my account credentials on the iCloud web page, I was instructed to move my MobleMe account to iCloud. Two options were available: Cancel and Get Started. I’m not moving my MobileMe account to iCloud until I get reassurance I’ll be able to access my data from my Macs running 10.6.8. Until then, I’m not migrating from MobileMe to iCloud.

snaab4

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