iCloud is already a simple and intuitive service, though its underpinnings are quite complex. After all, the late Steve Jobs had envisioned the service since his triumphant return at Apple in 1997, but it wasn’t until last year that Apple could roll it out properly.
And now that they’ve gotten a handle on it, the engineering geniuses at Apple have taken things a step further in OS X 10.8, dubbed Mountain Lion.
The upcoming Mac OS, scheduled to debut sometime late this summer according to Apple’s own estimates, will feature iCloud embedded right inside every app that can use it.
The system-wide integration will spell less confusion for the customer, and better sync across devices.
Apple’s marketing pitch for iCloud in OS X Mountain Lion reads:
“It just works. In more ways than ever. In OS X Mountain Lion, sign in once with your Apple ID and iCloud is automatically set up across your Mac.1 That means right away iCloud keeps your mail, calendars, contacts, documents, and more up to date on every device you use. So when you add, delete, or edit something on your Mac, it happens on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. And vice versa.”
iCloud services include most of the former MobileMe benefits, including Contacts, Calendar and Mail, all re-architected and rewritten from the ground up, in order to work seamlessly with iCloud.
The App Store and iBookstore now send iOS apps and books to all your devices, not just the device they were purchased on, while iCloud Backup automatically saves the contents of your iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when you charge them.
iCloud Storage keeps all the documents you created using iCloud Storage APIs, and pushes them to all your devices automatically.
The same goes for your Photos via the Photo Stream service which automatically uploads and wirelessly pushes the photos you take or import on any of your devices to all your devices and computers.
Finally, iTunes in the Cloud lets you download your iTunes music purchases to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and the optional iTunes Match feature replaces your music with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version.
See the related links below for more coverage of the features in OS X Mountain Lion.