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October 27th, 2011

Although you can use it as an remote archive, Apple’s new iCloud service that debuted on October 12th is not primarily for storage. It is made to keep your data synchronized among your iOS devices and computers (Mac, PC). After it’s set up, you can work on your iPad rental and know that the document will instantly be ready for editing on any synced device. Transferring files by e-mail or USB flash drives is on the fast track to obsolescence.

iCloud by Apple

How iCloud works

First off, iCloud doesn’t work without the latest OS X Lion update, 10.7.2, and the latest iTunes update, 10.5. For better iCloud integration, Safari also got a bump to 5.1.1. Pages, Numbers and Keynote – the iWork programs that run on every Macintosh, from the cutting-edge laptops to the mighty Mac Pro – now sync documents via iCloud. Contacts, Calendar and Mail data also updates automatically on multiple devices. Just as importantly, iCloud also stores device settings, apps, screen layouts, ring tones and text messages, so all your vital data comes with you when you upgrade devices.

The new Photo Stream lets you download up to 1,000 photos for 30 days without counting against your storage total (see “What’s the deal?” below). Third-party apps can also leverage iCloud services, and it’s vital to remember that iCloud is “open territory” where tablet PC rentals running Windows are free to roam, too. Future blogs will update you on the features developers implement for their various iCloud products and services.

What’s the deal?

You get 5GB of iCloud storage for free, and iTunes music, e-books, apps and Photo Stream pics do not count toward your total. Your iCloud real estate will be populated by documents, application data, mail, non-Photo Stream photos, settings and other information. You can buy more storage for annual fees of $20 (10GB), $40 (20GB) and $100 (50GB), but Apple’s customer research indicates that 5GB of storage should be sufficient for most people. There are numerous variables – the size of your Camera Roll, how many documents you carry around, how much application data you’re amassing, etc. – so you will have to figure out what works for you.

iTunes Match confuses

There is a possible point of confusion with iCloud, and that revolves around iTunes integration. When you buy tracks from iTunes, they are automatically synced to your devices and don’t count toward your free storage total. However, if you want to sync music that was not purchased from iTunes, the privilege requires paying $25 a year for the separate iTunes Match service.

CRE, like Apple, is all about “value added” and excellence. From Audience Response Systems (ARS) to high-end digital gear and Xserve for that new post-production project, we’ve got you covered. One simple call or e-mail puts an experienced Account Executive on the job for you, while a couple of clicks gets the ball rolling with our Quick Rental Quote. We’re ready with solutions for whatever challenges you face!

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