Jun2011 06

<a href='http://www.apple.com/icloud/' title='iCloud' target='_blank'>iCloud</a>, OS X Lion and iOS 5.0Today is the first day of WWDC 2011 in San Francisco, USA. It is also the day of the inaugural Steve Jobs keynote presentation to the Apple developers, industry press and the world.

They started off with Lion and showed off 10 new features such as Mission Control, which is Spaces on steroids, LaunchPad bringing iOS icons to the Mac and other applications that take advantage of multi-gestures. There is now auto-save and version control for documents, AirDrop so you can easily share files on LANs (presumably not heavily firewalled ones) and it's priced at $29.99 USD. Outstanding. Especially when compared with Microsoft's Windows 7 at $319.99 USD.

Lion Server wasn't mentioned in the keynote, but I've found that it will be available in July as well for the low price of $49.99 USD. I don't think you want me to compare that to Windows Server 2008 at a price tag of several thousand of dollars. I'll be looking forward to getting my hands on this update in the coming months.

Then came iOS's turn with 10 features such as the much needed Notification's system overhaul, iMessage, which is basically a text messaging chat system for iOS devices only, the huge news of Wifi Syncing (more on that later), Reminders system negating the need for all those Todo apps, Twitter integration, which I felt they spent more time on than needed, Camera is now accessibly when locked and best of all ... it's available to developers today. In fact, it's currently installing on my iPhone 4.

Lastly, Jobs took the stage to talk about iCloud and admitted that "How can you trust the people who did MobileMe ?" ... well I think he answered that when he announced the release of 9 iCloud products such as iTunes in the Cloud, all purchases will be sync-ed wirelessly with all devices, PhotoStream, which is the same but for Photos, Documents in the Cloud, you get the picture, but also 5GB of data backup in the cloud, which doesn't include your music, apps or photos.

I've briefly tested the Wifi syncing and it seems to work just fine. It's still syncing a lot of my apps at present and it was great to see all my apps restored back in the same locations and folders. The notification system on first launch asks for your location and from that it updates a live weather and stock widget. It also enabled me to find out about an important email I hadn't seen yet and a twitter response. Very cool.

So, a huge range of new products and features for the OS X community, which is great, though I was a little disappointed there was nothing about speech technology or the iPhone 5. My guess is both of these will come at an event later in the year. Only time will tell ... but this week if you're a developer at WWDC -- it's all about the sessions. Personally, I would definitely get along to the sessions on the iCloud API.

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