June 6, 2011
Today was the kickoff of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference which runs through June 10th. In case you were not one of the Apple fans that slept on the streets of San Francisco camped out in front of the Moscone Center last night and did not get a chance to watch the action real-time or online, we are going to break things down for you. Here is the quick and dirty take on what happened in the 118 minute presentation by Steve Jobs and company. Some think this might be one of Steve’s last keynotes after his health issues had him on medical leave since January. So here’s what we learned:
- Apple announced that Lion is the next version of the Mac Operating System which will be available in stores in July 2011 for $29.99.
- Apple previewed the iOS 5 which will come to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch this fall with a new Notification Center (an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption), iMessage (a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices) and Newsstand (a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions).
- Apple announced iCloud, a free service that automatically syncs data, including photos and documents, between Macs, PCs and iOS devices. Part of iCloud is available now as it lets you re-download software and music you had already purchased. The rest of the features will be rolled out with iOS 5 this fall. iCloud will replace the former paid MobileMe service. iCloud can also do automatic backups of your iOS devices daily over Wi-Fi when you charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. With iTunes in the cloud, users will also be able to re-download songs to any device at no additional cost. iCloud could be a big product for Apple and squarely places them in direct competition with Google and all its apps and services in the cloud.
- Apple announced iTune Match, a subscription service that for $24.99 per year will scan a user’s library of songs, including those ripped from their own CDs, and match them to the library of 18 million songs in the iTunes Store. Users can then re-download those songs on any device. iTune Match will roll out this fall.
So there you have it. Of the four announcements from today, I think the most important being iCloud, especially with the iTunes in the cloud features. I’ve been waiting for this feature for awhile. It just makes sense. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Partial Image Credit: Reuters
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