Apple Ties Together Mobile Data with iCloud, iTunes Match

Apple CEO Steve Jobs officially rang the death knell for MobileMe on Monday during his World Wide Developers Conference keynote presentation and unveiled its successor: iCloud. The new service, available this fall, will offer file storage, data syncing, calendar sharing, music and photo storage and syncing, and more.

iCloud rolls in MobileMe’s features, such as calendar and contact syncing, email addresses. New features include:

  • 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

iCloud will include 5GB of storage, and purchased music, App Store purchases, iBookstore purchases, and photos don’t count against the data storage cap.

Apple also unveiled iTunes Match, which lets users sync songs they ripped to iTunes from their own CDs assuming the tracks are also available on the iTunes Store. The service scans user’s iTunes libraries for ripped tracks, then offers 256Kbps AAC versions through  iCloud.

iTunes Match is priced at US$24.99 a year for up to 5,000 songs.

Apple also said that iTunes in the Cloud will be available to iOS 4.3 users starting today. The iCloud service will launch along with iOS 5 this fall, and will be free.