Apple Announcements from WWDC 2011: iCloud, iOS 5, and Lion

I missed the big announcements from Apple on Monday, because I went on a two day trip to Niagara Falls with my lovely wife and my emerging cosmopolitan parents. We had a great time in Canada and New York, but it is nice to get caught up with the digital goings-on tonight.

iCloud is probably the biggest announcement: 5GB of free storage in the cloud (Apps, eBooks, purchased music, and Photos are free). If this service really works as well as promised, you will be able to seamlessly access your content across any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac). More information is available here.

There was no iPhone 5 announcement, but Apple delivered the goods with iOS 5–the next iteration of the iOS platform. The big features include setting up an i-device without needing to own/use a computer and wireless syncing of your i-device data if you do use it with a computer. There will be new camera, gesture, and notification technologies built-in, too. Go here for a rundown of the new features.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was given a July 2011 launch date. Perhaps more interesting than the new technologies wrapped into the latest version of Mac OS X is the fact that it will be available for immediate download through the Mac App Store. This means you can purchase and download it over the Internet without needing to buy bits packaged in a cardboard box from the corner store (Larry Ellison’s biggest gripe about software distribution). TUAW, however, offers a guide here on how to burn a bootable Lion install disc after you purchase the installer from Apple.

Other tidbits: iTunes is now available as “iTunes in the Cloud beta” version 10.3 here. Also, iBookstore is now part of iTunes (finally!).

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