Apple has given developers early access to the website for its upcoming iCloud data-syncing and archiving service, so they can try it out.
On Monday, the company opened up the access to iCloud.com, which provides a central point for syncing data between devices and accessing cloud-based Apple applications. As the service is still in developer beta, only members of Apple's iOS and Mac Developer Program can use the website.
iCloud, the successor to MobileMe, was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers conference in June and is expected to launch alongside iOS 5 in the autumn. The cloud-based service lets people store data such as images and music, and send them to an iPhone, iPad, iPod or computer running Mac OS X or Windows. It also provides applications such as the Pages document editing and layout tool.
The iCloud.com website's interface and icons are broadly similar to those used in iOS on Apple's mobile devices. The site provides tools for viewing and editing mail, contacts and calendars, as well as using the Find My iPhone service.
It also lets people create documents with the iWork web application, which grants access to documents created in Keynote, Pages and Numbers iOS. iWork is similar to Microsoft's Office 365 or Google Apps services as it also syncs productivity applications and associated data in remote datacentres.
In addition to the website, iOS and Mac Developer Program members have the use of iCloud Storage APIs for pushing data between different devices, according to Apple.
iCloud is free with 5GB of storage, and people can pay more for more space. For $20 (£12) per year, they get an additional 10GB of storage, $40 gets another 20GB and $100 gets a further 50GB.
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