Steve Jobs explained that although the relationship between computer and iPod worked for almost ten years, the new environment where people own iPod touches, iPhones, iPads was rendering the connection broken. The solution is to demote the PC and the Mac as the digital hub and instead to make the cloud the centre of all the action. The cloud is not just a hard disk in the sky: “iCloud stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices.” “It just works”, said Jobs, but acknowledged criticism of the paid-for Mobile Me service that preceded iCloud. “Why should I believe them, they’re the ones that brought me MobileMe? It wasn’t our finest hour.” The contact, calendar and Mail apps have been rebuilt so that they’re automatically synchronised on all devices. There is wireless backup to the cloud once a day, and when you buy a new phone your device will be recreated from the cloud, including all photos, music, apps and settings. Documents created on Pages, Keynote or Numbers on the iPad can be read on the iPhone. Photo Stream synchronises all your photos to the cloud and makes them viewable on Apple TV. The cost for all this is nothing – at least to start with – though some observers are predicting that fees and advertising may loom on the horizon.
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