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Summary: Lion, iOS 5, iCloud highlight WWDC keynote

Philip Michaels, | June 7, 2011
Apple executives showed off an operating system update planned for next month, teased a mobile OS update slated for the fall, and unveiled a cloud-based service for backing up and syncing documents, photos, and music.

Other changes planned for iOS 5 include a new messaging app for all iOS devices, new features in the mobile version of Safari, single sign-on support for Twitter, a Newsstand app with more than a passing resemblance to iBooks, and camera improvements that will let you launch the app from the lock screen and use the volume buttons to take photos.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs capped Monday’s keynote with a look at iCloud, Apple’s new wireless data syncing service for iOS devices, Macs, and PCs. A free service that takes the place of MobileMe, iCloud syncs contacts, calendars, and mail across devices. It also offers an auto-backup feature for backing up important data to the cloud.


Steve Jobs shows off iCloud.

Three new apps are part of iCloud. Documents in the Cloud uploads iWork documents for syncing. Photo Stream lets users sync photos taken on one device with other devices. iTunes in the Cloud lets users access songs already purchased through Apple’s iTunes Store to download to up to 10 devices. For music that wasn’t purchased through iTunes, Apple is offering iTunes Match, a $25-a-year service that scans your iTunes library and tries to match it with some of the 18 million songs that Apple sells.

iCloud is slated for a fall release; it will arrive at the same time as iOS 5. Users will get 5GB of free storage for mail, documents, and backup; purchased music, apps, books, and Photo Stream photos don’t count against that total.

You can see all of Monday’s announcements for yourself—Apple has posted a streaming video of the WWDC keynote on its Website. Apple’s video podcast page in the iTunes Store usually includes videos of Apple’s presentations as well—the 2010 WWDC keynote is available there—though this year’s presentation hadn’t appeared as of 2:50 p.m. on Monday.


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