In the months leading up to Apple’s WWDC event, numerous reports have signalled the introduction of the company’s new iCloud service, which was long thought to be its first foray into delivering music to iPhones, iPads and iPods via an Internet connection.
On Tuesday, Apple confirmed it would unveil the latest updates to its Mac OS X and iOS operating systems, also announcing its new iCloud platform.
Its the first time that Apple has confirmed the existence of its iCloud service, let alone address what it will deliver. Having signed deals with Warner, EMI and Sony, three of the four major music labels, all signs pointed to Apple unveiling iCloud as a new music service.
However, Apple looks like it will offer much more than music (the added emphasis is ours):
At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.
With Apple phasing out MobileMe retail boxes and taking subscriptions exclusively online, many have speculated that the company would overhaul the way it handled file storage, email and device tracking. Now that the company is officially referring to iCloud as a “cloud services offering”, it suggests the company will migrate its MobileMe storage to come under the iCloud banner, serving as a unified entity for its online services.
With the release of iOS 5, Apple will deeply integrate iCloud services within the core of its mobile operating system, reducing the reliance on synchronising an iOS device with a desktop computer. The cloud service will likely sync applications, saving system states online, storing saved games and application states so that users can move effortlessly between their Apple devices to pick up where they had left off.
It is interesting to see Apple confirm parts of the keynote before the event itself, something that it has refrained from doing in the past. Does this mean we are to witness something unexpected when Steve Jobs says there is “One more thing”?