Apple Debuts ‘iTunes in the Cloud’ (but No New iPhone)

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So with iCloud, certain data on all your Apple devices is uploaded to Apple’s servers and then downloaded and synchronized with all your other Apple devices. Apps such as Mail, Calendar and Contacts will all be iCloud-enabled and you’ll be able to do things like share calendars with other Apple users.

You’ll also be able to download any of your previous apps, music and books to your newer Apple devices and any new content you buy will be immediately available to all your other compatible Apple devices. Backups happen once per day.

Documents created in Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps will also get full iCloud integration so that they’re available to other Apple devices. Photos you take with camera-equipped Apple products will get pushed to the cloud and made available on all your other Apple handhelds, as well as to your Apple computers and Apple TV.

The iCloud server will store your photos for 30 days, the last 1,000 photos downloaded to your Apple devices will be kept, and photos downloaded to your PC or Mac will be stored indefinitely.

iTunes in iCloud

Apple’s iTunes software now has a new “Purchased” tab and anything you’ve purchased through iTunes will be available on up to 10 of your other Apple devices. You can set your other devices to automatically download newly purchased music or you can download it manually.

Being able to download purchased music to all of your Apple devices is available now with iTunes 10.3. The rest of the other new iCloud features mentioned above will be available this fall-all of which are free. You’ll have five gigabytes of storage space for free, but purchased music, apps and books don’t count against your storage limits.

iTunes Match

As rumored, Apple will scan the music files on your hard drive and match them against an online database of music. The songs that match will be available in iTunes for you to download to any of your Apple devices—you won’t need to upload anything first.

Matched songs will be “upgraded” to Apple’s 256Kbps AAC standard and will be available without DRM, but you’ll have to shell out $25 per year for the privilege. This will be a divisive idea: Pay for access to your own music?

You won’t have to upload anything, which is nice. And any songs that don’t match will get uploaded instead. And you’ll theoretically get access to any music you’ve downloaded illegally (not that you would do that) for $25 per year.

You’ll be able to sign up for iTunes Match this fall.

New iPhone?

No new iPhone this time around. Not even the rumored, spec-bumped iPhone 4S. So it looks like we’ll hopefully see something at Apple’s September event that’s historically been held for announcing new iPods.

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