Apple's iCloud open to developers, with US pricing revealed

iCloud is open for beta-ness, with Apple developers able to test out the music and data syncing service. Apple has also revealed how much you'll pay for extra storage.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
Expertise Copy editing, football, Civilization and other old-man games, West Wing trivia
Nick Hide
2 min read

Apple's new iCloud service is now open to developers at iCloud.com. The free syncing and storage system, which is likely to open to the public alongside the launch of the iPhone 5, lets beta users manage their iWork documents, email, calendar and contacts online, and remotely find their iPhone.

iCloud pricing has also been elaborated upon -- it's free for the basic 5GB level, as we knew, but US customers will pay $20 (£12) per year for an extra 10GB, $40 (£25) per year for 20GB or $100 (£61) per year for 50GB. UK prices haven't been announced.

Why would you need extra storage for your spreadsheets and phone numbers? That's not all you'll be able to store there. Apple plans to let you keep copies of your music up in the cloud, so you'll be able to stream tunes to wherever you are in the world.

Initially this will only work with music and video you've bought from iTunes, but eventually it'll scan your hard drive and give you access to high-quality digital copies. Apps and their data will be synced too, so, if you have to completely reset your iPhone, you should be able to retrieve everything you had very simply.

9to5Mac, which spotted the site had gone live, shared some pics of the email and calendar's online look:

Pretty swanky. "iCloud Storage APIs enable your apps to store documents and key value data in iCloud. iCloud will wirelessly push documents to a user's device automatically and update the documents when changed on any device -- automatically," Apple explains.

"iOS and Mac Developer Program members can set up iCloud for iOS, OS X Lion and Windows, and prepare their apps for the iCloud service."

iCloud, iCloud, iCloud. Sorry, the word's lost all meaning to us now.

Our sister site CNET News reckons Apple shelled out a breathtaking $4.5m for the iCloud.com domain. That barely qualifies as pocket change for Steve Jobs -- he probably has more than that rattling around in the glove compartment of his numberplateless Merc -- but it's a serious commitment to the service nevertheless.

Are you on Cloud 9 about iCloud? Or is that just too much per gigabyte for a music service? Elucidate your opiniofications in the comments trough below.

Update, 8 August: UK prices for iCloud have been announced, along with more details on what you'll need the storage for and what comes free.