Apple iCloud launch: live

Apple will today reveal details about iOS 5, Mac OS X and iCloud – and whatever else Steve Jobs decides to unveil.

Apple iCloud launch: live

The keynote kicks off at 6pm in the UK; check here for all the updates from around the web.

  • And that’s it. Thanks for following along. Check back on the site for the full news story (with full sentences and fewer typos) soon.
  • Talking up the new datacentre, claiming it’s big and environmentally friendly. (After two hours, that’s really not that exciting.)
  • Jobs has a chart: Apple’s iTunes Match is cheaper and has better quality tracks than Amazon and Google, basically.
  • iTunes Match. Oh, this solves the problem of the music you already have (ie, ripped from CDs, bought from Amazon, acquired from elsewhere). It scans those songs, finds out if it has them in the iTunes database (which it probably does) and then matches them to their own version at 256kbps for you to listen to where you want. It costs $25 a year, though – to listen to your own music.
  • One more thing…
  • All of the different iCloud apps – for iTunes, for example – are all free. It will all work on iOS 5, and comes with 5GB of free storage for mail and docs, but photos and music downloads don’t count toward that total. It will work on iOS 4.3 in beta from today.
  • It only works, of course, with iTunes-purchased songs, not anything you already own from CDs or other sources.
  • Intriguingly, you’ll be able to push already-bought songs to the cloud, and put all songs onto any device you own. (Does that qualify as format shifting, which is illegal here in the UK?)
  • And, finally, on to iTunes in the iCloud.
  • Jobs says the iCloud solves the problem of storage on iOS devices, and last 1,000 pics will be stored in the cloud automatically and kept on server for 30 days; older pictures, you’ll have to choose to keep and place in the right folder.
  • Just demoed Keynote, now onto Photo Stream. Take a picture with your iPhone, heads straight to the cloud, and ends up on your iPad. Also works on Apple TV. Jobs takes a dig at PCs – they don’t have a photo app, so we use folders to organise, he says.
  • Apps will be able to store documents in the cloud, and be accessed from Macs and PCs too, apparently.
  • And, documents in the cloud – Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Just like Google and Microsoft (we can’t help ourselves). Everything’s sync’d and everything’s stored.
  • Apps and iBooks will also be sent to the cloud, so they’re backed up and available anywhere. And, iCloud will also backup some data over Wi-Fi, such as music, photos, settings. All over wireless, without a PC. If you buy a new phone, everything will automatically load up when you login.
  • The $99 MobileMe will be killed off in favour of the free iCloud.
  • How much will it cost? Nothing. Wait, what?
  • With iCloud, everything is in sync – make a change on one device, it changes in the cloud, and the change filters down to your other devices. Not just music, but calendars, mail, too.
  • Jobs admits MobileMe wasn’t Apple’s “finest hour”, but said it offered a good learning opportunity.
  • “Some people thing the cloud is a hard disk in the sky,” but Jobs says iCloud will be more, and feature automatic syncing, pushing content to all devices from the cloud.
  • Jobs: Music, photos, everything else, is all fragmented across devices. We’ve got a great solution for this problem… We’re going to demote the PC or Mac to be just another device.”
  • Steve Jobs back out on stage. Time for iCloud, then.
  • So: when’s it out? Will arrive this autumn, for all customers, supported on iPhone 3GS and 4; iPad 1 and 2; and third- and fourth-gen iPod touch. Developer SDK available today.
  • And the last new feature to be demoed (assuming we can still count and this is going to ten) is iMessage, a messaging system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, that uses text, photos, video, and more across 3G and Wi-Fi. Lets you start a conversation on one device, and move it to another iOS device.
  • Game Centre: It has 50m users; Apple points out Xbox Live has 30m. New features include social-network style interaction with friends, such as high scores and game recommendations.
  • Next up: PC Free, which is for those people who want to buy just the iPad, or just the iPhone, and not have a home PC. (We don’t like those people; the clue why is in the name.) The idea is that you don’t have to connect your devices to a PC to set them up or do updates – everything over the air now, including security patches.
  • Mail gets an upgrade in iOS too… including better support for enterprise systems. This truly is magical, isn’t it?
  • Will now be faster to get to the camera, and users can take pictures using the volume button on the side. Plus, new tools in the software to help you take better pictures and edit them.
  • Apple built its own Reminders app. It does look pretty, admittedly. It will apparently remind you to do something based on geo-location – leave work, it could tell you to pick something up on the way home.
  • iOS gets its own version of Safari Reader, with Reading List, which lets you save just the contents of the story for later – like Instapaper.
  • Now for some Twitter integration. Single sign-on, so you can use any app without having to login again, as well as integration with Photos and Safari; take a picture, find a website, and tweet it by tapping a button.
  • Another new iOS 5 feature: Newsstand. Like iBooks, but for magazines and newspapers, with new issues downloading automatically.
  • And, finally on to iOS 5. The “major” release includes 200 new features, including better notifications. In order to see the main notification centre, swipe from the top down – just like in Android.
  • Apple has some more big numbers: iBookstore has 130m downloads; iTunes has 15bn songs sold; and 25m iPad sold; 14bn App Store apps, of which 90,000 are for the iPad. And, $2.5bn paid to developers.
  • On to iOS. Apple is claiming it’s the number one OS (Android who?) with 200m devices taking up 44% of the market.
  • Lion will only be available in the Mac App Store, to make it the “easiest upgrade” you’ve ever seen. Price: $29.99 – that’s pretty cheap. The license will cover all your authorised Macs, too.
  • Mail has new search tools, which asks whether you want a subject line or a person, as well as a new conversation view. You can also combine search terms, to look for a date as well as a subject line, for example.
  • On to AirDrop, a file-sharing system, so you don’t need to email it or use “sneakernet” – as in, chucking it on a USB stick and walking it over. Sounds like a built in DropBox, but it automatically finds your friends over Wi-Fi and all you do is drag and drop to share.
  • And that ties into the eight feature, which is Versions, which makes sure the most current version is saved, but not over top of others, and lets you browse and copy and paste between the versions.
  • Auto save: Lion saves what you’re working on, whether you ask it to or not. But it can be locked, if you don’t that to happen.
  • Resume: “Launch an application in Lion, and it brings you right back to where you were working where you left off.” Works across the system, not just on apps, so it will bring you back to where you were if the system crashes.
  • Feature number five is apparently Launch Pad, which finds all your apps and lets you organise them, with apps downloading and installing directly into it.
  • Now, on to Mac App Store. “It’s been a big hit for large and small developers,” says Schiller. In Lion, it will be built-in, no download required. Also comes with built-in sandboxing for better security.
  • Mission Control with gestures, to make it easy to find your windows: “Mac users like to get up to a lot of things at once, so they have lots of Windows open.” (Oh wait, he probably meant “windows” with a small “w”.)
  • Apple also showing off full-screen apps, and the three new features – multi-touch, full-screen apps, and Mission Control – all together.
  • Gestures in Safari – zooming and navigating with finger swipes on the touch pad. “The page feels alive beneath your fingers.” Sounds creepy, but getting oohs from the audience.
  • Now showing off Mission Control, which “unifies with a simple gesture”, offering a bird’s eye view of what’s happening on your computer. Exciting?
  • Lion will have 250 new feautres, Apple will talk about 10. Talking about multitouch gestures at the moment.
  • Apple bragging that Mac sales have jumped 28%, while PC market has shrunk 1%. Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of those sales are MacBooks.
  • Talking about Lion first, with Phil Schiller doing demos. Says 54m Mac users around the world.
  • Jobs says 5,200 at WWDC, and 1,000 Apple engineers. “We wish we could sell more tickets,” he says. And at the price they go for, he’s probably telling the truth.
  • Time to get started: Steve Jobs is on stage.
  • Welcome to the PC Pro live blog of yet another Apple event – although this one is a bit less mysterious than some previous keynotes, as Apple has actually told the world what it will be showing off: iOS 5, the latest Mac OS X, and iCloud.

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