Apple revealed a beta edition of iCloud.com, the company’s host of cloud applications, with pricing for the services. The website is presently open just to a limited number of developers, until a public launch promised this fall. iCloud is what Apple calls the online home of your information, consisting of documents, contacts, calendars, emails, and media – for a cost.
Different from Google, which gives away most of its services in exchange of your details for advertising reasons, Apple will charge users who need over 5GB of free iCloud storage with documents, backups, contacts, calendars and would not display ads. An additional 10GB is worth $20 each year, $40 for 20GB, and $100 for $50. Storage could be bought through the iOS5 iCloud settings panel. Photo Stream images (hosted on iCloud for 30 days for free), iTunes media or books, do not count toward the free 5GB allocation.
The iCloud.com website will as well be the place where iCloud users could access their emails, contacts and calendars from a browser. The beta site as well provides access to the Find My iPhone service, and has a latest section named iWork, which is unclear whether will offer editing or just viewing functionality for documents. Access beyond the login screen of iCloud.com has been sporadic for non-developers using MobileMe or OSX Lion, but 9 to 5 Mac and AppleInsider have published some screenshots of the available apps.
When opened sometime this fall, iCloud will replace Apple’s MobileMe $99 each year sync services giving, which will be turned off throughout the forthcoming year. iCloud will be integrated on Apple’s mobile gadgets also though the iOS5 software update.