June 6, 2011

∴ Apple Unveils iCloud, Lion and iOS 5

Apple put on a two-hour demonstration today. They showed major new features in their flagship operating system, OS X; the next version of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch operating system, iOS 5; and their new Internet-based service, iCloud. I’ll have thoughts on the three as I wrap my head around the details, but the take-away from the WWDC keynote, is that this set of updates and debuts is huge. They form a cohesive whole by connecting all of your devices with all of your data, all the time, seamlessly.

The key is iCloud. Much more than a simple online replacement for iTunes, iCloud is everything I wrote about this past week, and more. Its API (application programming interface, the connections programmers need to make their software work with a service) will support not only the Mac, but PC computers, as well. But what does it do?

iCloud allows you to completely forget the computer’s file system. No more folders or directory trees. Organize your files as you wish. As you create, modify or purchase your documents, spreadsheets, pictures, music files, unprotected video (think ripped DVDs) and the like, those files are automatically and immeditately pushed to iCloud, and from there to all of your other devices. Ditto your calendars, contacts, and mobile apps. iPads, iPhones, iMacs, Macbooks, Mac Minis, and yes, Windows PCs, they all share the same “data repository,” iCloud.

This is huge because with this ecosystem (and herein Apple has legitimized that term for computing), you no longer need be a geek to be connected to and stay connected to everything that matters to you. Everything is everywhere, all the time.

I’m slack-jawed.

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