iCloud website now live for software developers

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Apple Inc. took another step toward connecting its users to the ‘cloud’ on Monday night when it opened an iCloud website to software developers, also encouraging them to update their iPhone and iPad apps to take advantage of Apple’s upcoming Internet service.

Though only registered Apple developers can access the new site, bloggers have posted images showing it contains Web-based email, Calendar, contacts and the Find My iPhone feature -- all of which were previously available via Apple’s soon-to-be-defunct MobileMe service.

But unlike MobileMe, a for-pay subscription service, a basic version of iCloud will be available free to users of most Apple phones and tablets. The software will sync users’ email, apps, music and other information so that it works across all Apple devices. Users will get 5 gigabytes of storage for free, but have the option to as much as 50 gigabytes more for an annual fee of up to $100.

Apple has also begun encouraging app developers to start using iCloud, which can store and back up application-related data -- presumably to do things such as save games and back up photos and records from exercise apps.


The company has said the new system will be available to the public this fall, and speculation has grown that its new iPhone will be available in late September or early October.


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-- David Sarno