APPLE launched the iCloud yesterday. It is a web-based system allowing users to share data between computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Chief executive Steve Jobs told the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco: “Keeping those devices in sync is driving us crazy.
“We are going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud.”
Apple also plan to slash mobile phone bills with their new iMessage system, which offers users of iPhones, iPads and iPods unlimited free texts.
The iCloud will be a free service storing user information from several devices, making sure the same contacts, calendar events and files are available on all of them.
It will be one of the main weapons in upcoming iPhone 5.
It also backs up the data on Apple’s servers – so songs bought from iTunes and kept on your home computer will now be available to play wherever you are on another computer or mobile.
For an extra fee, the iTunes Match service will also scan users’ hard drives for songs taken from other sources and make them available anywhere through the iCloud.
Experts say cloud computing will revolutionise the way we use the internet in our everyday lives.
Instead of your home computer needing a hard drive full of data and installed programmes, all that’s required is an internet connection.
This could bring down the cost of computers sharply, and with broadband speeds increasing, more and more will be possible on the Net.
There are disadvantages – many users will be concerned about whether the new system is secure enough – but the iCloud could also have a major effect on the battle against music piracy, creating a lucrative new source of revenue for record labels.
Apple have also developed a new system called iMessage which will be built into all mobile Apple devices from this autumn.
It will allow instant messages including texts, pictures and video to be sent for free using wi-fi or the phone’s 3G data network.
The services will bypass a phone’s traditional text messaging system – potentially saving hundreds of pounds on an annual mobile phone bill.
But the new service looks likely to put Apple on a collision course with mobile phone networks, which could lose billions of pounds in revenue.
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