Apple chief executive Steve Jobs

Apple iCloud introduced by chief executive Steve Jobs

Apple’s new iCloud service allows users to play music and access their data from any Apple device.

Apple’s iCloud will mean people will be able to share book purchases, music and data such as calendar items across different devices, while backing up and updating information regularly.

“We’re going to move the digital hub, the centre of your digital life, into the cloud,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said. “Everything happens automatically and there’s nothing new to learn. It just all works.”

Jobs said the iCloud beta version will be available from Monday for free. And from the fall, users can pay $24.99 a year to have their song libraries available on iTunes for playback on any Apple gadget. The feature, known as iTunes Match, scans users’ hard drives and automatically makes the songs it finds available on the iCloud. In contrast, users of Google and Amazon cloud-based storage have to upload every song themselves.

Apple also introduced software upgrades at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference, including Lion, its Mac OS X computer operating system and the next version of its mobile operating system.

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