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Apple releases new developer builds of OS X 10.7.2 and iCloud

Apple is actively updating and refining its software and services in preparation for the iCloud release next month, and issued new builds of iCloud, iPhoto, and OS X today.

As part of its testing of new software revisions, Apple has a developer seed program in which it provides beta builds of its operating system and applications to developers to get feedback and root out bugs before releasing the products to the public. Given the transition to iCloud from MobileMe that is slated to come next month, Apple has been actively testing both iCloud itself and other software that will be interfacing with the online service, including iPhoto and OS X.

In the past couple of weeks, Apple has been releasing developer builds of OS X 10.7.2 to developers for testing the new iCloud features among other details, and today has ramped up testing with the release of the third beta of 10.7.2 in addition to iCloud beta 9 and iPhoto 9.2 beta 3.

The increase in the number of developer builds suggests Apple is actively ironing out bugs in preparation for the iCloud release, to hopefully provide a smooth transition for current MobileMe users. While currently only people with developer memberships have access to the iCloud Web site, the site will soon be made available to the public.

Given the trends toward cloud computing and cloud-based services, Apple's iCloud is a service that many Mac and iOS users are looking forward to. With iCloud, Apple promises full and automatic synchronization of your data on all supported devices, allowing you to instantly have access to music, photos, apps, calendars, and other documents you have created on your systems, by offering a 5GB online storage buffer that is used to transfer files back and forth between your devices until they are all synced up.

In addition, Apple is offering iTunes streaming options that allow you to access new and past purchases from anywhere, and an iTunes Match feature that scans your library and upgrades your songs to iTunes-quality media for a yearly fee instead of having to pay to download each song again. You can read more about iCloud at Apple's iCloud information Web site.

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