Apple readies iCloud for the masses

The cloud-based service lets folks access their Contacts, check out their Calendar, and find their iPhones, among other features.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Apple is planning to launch its cloud-based storage and syncing service, iCloud, to the public today, but so far, only some folks are able to log in.

Users who have an Apple ID and go to iCloud.com to sign in to the service will be unable to use the service for now, unless they have a developer account. The full rollout is expected to occur sometime later today.

Once users are in iCloud, they can view, add, or change Contacts, input events into Calendar, and store documents in the cloud with the help of the platform's iWork application.

In addition, users who have an iPhone can use iCloud to find the device, and view it on a map. That application also features the ability to remotely lock or wipe the device in the event the handset has been stolen or misplaced.

Apple unveiled plans to launch iCloud earlier this year at the Worldwide Developers Conference. At that event, in addition to all the features outlined above, Apple said that the platform would automatically sync all devices, including iPhones, iPads, and computers, with a user's music, apps, and iBooks. iCloud can also be used as a backup service, offering 5GB of free storage.

Apple said last week that the cloud-based service would be made available to users today. And although it didn't say how popular it expected the service to be, others have chimed in. In June, RBC Capital Markets said that it believes as many as 150 million users could sign up for the cloud-based service.

Updated at 8:36 a.m. PT to include details on log-in.