Jobs gives the skinny on iCloud

A slender Steve jobs came out of medical leave to deliver the keynote address at the 2011 Developers Conference hosted by Apple.

South Park version of Steve Jobs

Looking more like the South Park rendition of the man behind Apple, Steve was notably tired and unhealthy looking (much like the Canucks last night) as he delivered all the details on the new iCloud service:

– Works with iPhones, iPads, iPods, iMacs, and iBooks
– Synchronizes contacts, calendars, and files among devices
– Basic service is free (replacing the $99/yr MobileMe)

While the offerings are similar to free services from Google, Amazon, Dropbox, etc.., they are some firsts for Apple and will assist Apple users who have legacy audio on CDs.

For a fee of $25 (US) each year, Apple will scan the hard disk of a customer to seek out all non-iTunes music on the assumption they were converted from a CD the user owns. Music that is not already on iTunes will be uploaded to iCloud. If the music is already on iCloud then the song will be added to the user’s iCloud locker without the need to re-purchase music.

Apple mentioned that they are in talks with major recording companies to make this possible, which is a far cry from having those companies on board with such a consumer-friendly design.

Also announced was the Lion OS update for Macintosh. Consumers next month will be able to purchase Lion for $32 and can expect enhanced touch control features, like task switching with gestures, to be included.

iOS5 was also mentioned, as it will come with a new showcase for content that used to be the domain of printed materials, such as newspapers and magazines. Consumers are supposed to think of this as a digital newsstand, however there was no mention of how this presentation would make the content more accessible or interesting. Tweeting from photo apps and more social media connectivity with Facebook seems to be one of the biggest highlights, but we can expect more details closer to the release date.

PS: Don’t forget, tomorrow is IPv6 day, don’t miss your chance to be part of the test.

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