Apple Kicks Off WWDC By Showing Off iCloud

After months of rumors, Apple did it today — announced its iCloud online service, which will take users’ information, host it free on Apple servers, and keep it in sync across devices.

iCloud LogoApple made the announcement on the first day of its Worldwide Developer conference in San Francisco. The company says iCloud will make it easier for the iPad or iPhone to become a user’s primary device.

Steve Jobs, making his first public appearance in some time, told his audience that iCloud is meant to solve the problem of storing multiple documents in multiple places, on multiple devices. “Keeping those devices in sync is driving us crazy,” he said.

The new services will work with Apple mobile devices and computers, and PCs running Microsoft Windows.

The free iCloud services also integrate all the former (active) MobileMe services, including Contacts, Calendar and Mail. These have been completely rebuilt to work seamlessly with iCloud. In a poke at Gmail, Apple reminded us that its mail service is ad-free. You can also share calendars with friends and family, while your inbox and mailboxes are kept up-to-date across all your iOS devices and computers.