What You Need To Know About WWDC: iCloud Launched And OS X Lion Release Dated

During Today’s WWDC Apple previewed the newest version of iOS 5, iCloud — a total revamp of MobileMe — and the release date of OS X Lion.

The big news today was Software which was reinforced during Steve’s entrance during WWDC.

OS X Lion

Apple first previewed OS X Lion during its Back To The Mac Event and announced the public release date of the next generation version of OS X.

Phil Schiller took the time to demo the new version of OS X dubbed Lion. Lion is packing 250 features, 10 of which were demoed during WWDC.

Multi-Touch Gestures
Taken from iOS and evolved for the desktop, Lion will bring the popular swipe and pinch gestures to OS X. These function the same way they do on your iPhone and iPad and when scrolling, scrollbars disappear. Gestures behave exactly like they do on iOS and Apps will have multiple gestures to control certain functions.

Full Screen Apps
Another interface feature from iOS that has found its way to the Mac is full screen Apps. Schiller emphasized how important full screen apps will be for notebooks and that gestures will navigate you back to the Finder, desktop or another running App when in full screen mode.

Mission Control
Mission Control unifies Expose, Spaces and Dashboard. Spaces are created dynamically as users drag windows in to Mission Control.

Face tracking is now built in. Effects can be applied to certain parts of your face and are updated in real time wherever your face moves.

Mac App Store
First launched earlier this January, the Mac App Store is the OS X equivalent of the iOS App Store.

Schiller reinforced the App Store’s usefulness by touting its place as the number outlet for buying Software. Lion will be bringing in-App purchases, App sandboxing for security and push notifications.

Launch Pad
A simple touch gesture will open your Application’s folder in an iOS style interface.

OS Resume
First shown off in the earliest Beta builds of OS X Lion, Applications and user data are restored to the state they were in before you restarted, shut down or logged out. This feature will work system wide.

Auto Save
Another feature built in to Lion’s OS Resume is auto saving. Any data created and modified by the user will be automatically saved like it is on iOS. Data versioning is included but only the difference between revisions is saved to save space. Auto saving integrates with Time Machine to make data version recovery simple.

Air Drop
Another feature shown off in the earlier Betas of OS X Lion. Air Drop is peer 2 peer wifi-based networking. Any Macs in your area will show up and can send or receive files. This feature is great for Macs in small offices or homes. Transfers are encrypted and include send/receive prompts.

New Version Of Mail
The newest version of mail for OS X looks similar to the iOS App. The new design is based on multiple columns and threaded messages. A new search algorithm is included making it more intelligent. Searches can be refined based on subjects, people or content.

Wrap Up
To conclude the Lion portion of WWDC, Schiller announced the new OS would be available only on the App Store, weigh in at 4GB and have a $29.99 price tag. You can buy Lion once and install on any Macs. Lion will be released to the public in July.


Despite announcing iCloud’s appearance at WWDC a few days ago, details have been far and few between. Today, Apple showed its future plans for cloud based services.

The big news today was iCloud as Steve Jobs took over the presentation. Jobs prefaced iCloud’s debut with Apple’s goal of making the computer the hub of your life as early as 10 years ago. Jobs addressed the broken state syncing content has come in to and hopes to fix that with iCloud.

Content In The Cloud

Jobs showed off multiple devices such as the Mac and iPhone pushing content to the cloud to be downloaded on other devices. Content is pushed and pulled immediately without user interaction. Any content saved by the user on iOS Apps is immediately pushed to iCloud.

Jobs really pushed the automatic nature of iCloud as devices handle data upload immediately and automatically. Mobile Me Apps have been rewritten to take advantage of iCloud and data can be shared with other users. Steve demoed how any data downloaded by a user is immediately sent to the cloud and shared with every device you own.

Mobile Me was announced dead as mail, contacts and calendar were made free.

Backing Up

Apple also announced back up functionality to iCloud. Daily backups will be made daily and can be re-downloaded to a new device. Purchased Apps, content, device setting – basically any minute change you personally make on an iOS device will be backed up to iCloud.

Documents In The Cloud

One of the three new Apps that debuted with iCloud is Documents. Apple took the online version of iWork and added extra cloud functionality. Any data made in Pages, Keynote or Number will be automatically added to iCloud then downloaded to a device.

Jobs also pushed iCloud syncing as the death of the file system as each App should manage the appearance of its data. Developers will also be able to tap in to iCloud with new APIs.

Photo Stream

Photo Stream is the iCloud version of photo storage. Any pictures taken with an iOS device will be sent to the cloud and downloaded to your iPad or Mac without the need to sync. Photos imported in to iPhoto will also be sent to the cloud and synced to iOS devices. AppleTV will also be able to interact with iCloud to download photos.

To solve the problem of data storage, iOS devices will store the 1,000 most recent photos for 30 days as other devices download them permanently.

iTunes In The Cloud

Of all the iCloud features demoed today, the most anticipated feature is iTunes in the Cloud. This feature will download any purchased song over the air on your iOS device or Mac for free. If you bought a song on your Mac, you can download it instantly on your iPhone and if you bought an entire album or multiple artist discographies, those can be downloaded to all fo your devices.

To wrap up the iCloud announcement, Jobs announced the service would be free to attract the most announcement of people. Users will receive 5 GB of storage not including storage for other content such as music from iTunes or photos from iOS devices. Developers will be able to use iCloud starting today.

ITunes in the cloud for iOS 4.3 beta will be available today for users.

One More Thing

Job’s infamous One More Thing was music not available on the iTunes store but in your library can be synced in to iCloud. ITunes will also check your music for matches it has in its library, regardless of if you bought it and sync it to your devices. This service however, will cost $24.99 a year for music you didn’t buy from iTunes.