Earlier today, Apple opened the doors to their iCloud service dropping the beta tag and allowing access to the general public. To actually use the service you will need either iOS 5, or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to set up the account.
According to Apple’s iCloud transition page, users who had an active MobileMe account as of June 6, 2011 will see their service extended through June 30, 2012 at no additional charge.
“Not all MobileMe services will survive the transition. Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Bookmarks, Find My iPhone and Back to My Mac are all available in iCloud, but Gallery, iDisk and iWeb publishing are goners. More precisely, after the June 30, 2012 cut off time, the MobileMe service will no longer be available so you won’t be able to access your files on iDisk, albums in Galleries and web sites published to iWeb. However, MobileMe users can continue using Gallery, iDisk and iWeb publishing at me.com following the iCloud transition and through June 30, 2012,” said Apple.
Also, note; that Mac OS X data types including: Mail Accounts, Mail Rules, Dashboard Widgets, Dock Items, Keychain, Signature and Smart Mailboxes and Mac OS X Preferences, will cease to sync with Apple’s servers after you make the transition to iCloud.
Apple has also published handy iCloud online help resources.
“iCloud is a set of free cloud services, including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that work seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.
It allows you to store data, such as music, videos, books, application data and backups, from your Mac and iOS devices in Apple’s cloud. From there you can easily download it to other devices for easy access; up to 10 devices connected to the service are supported for free, along with 5 GB of storage space (excluding music). If 5 GB isn’t enough, you can upgrade that by adding 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year or 50 GB for $100 per year.”
You can sign up for iCloud at icloud.com using your Apple ID credentials. iCloud gives you five gigabytes of free storage (paid upgrades are available), but content purchases on the iTunes Store don’t count against your quota.
Apple ID is a user name you can use for just about everything you do with Apple, which includes shopping the iTunes Store, logging in to iChat or MobileMe, buying products from the Apple Online Store and now it lets you access iCloud to store your content.
Also, from Apple’s Mac OS X 10.7.2 support document, iCloud on OS X Lion includes the following features:
- iCloud stores your email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and Safari Reading List, and automatically pushes them to all your devices.
- Back to My Mac provides remote access to your Mac from another Mac anywhere on the Internet.
- Find My Mac helps find a missing Mac by locating it on a map and allows you to remotely lock the Mac or wipe all its data.