Apple unveiled a beta version of iCloud.com, the company's host of cloud applications, as well as pricing for the services. The website is currently open only to a limited number of developers, until a public launch promised this fall. iCloud is what Apple calls the online home of your data, including documents, contacts, calendars, emails, and media--for a price.
Unlike Google, which gives away most of its services in exchange for your details for advertising purposes, Apple will charge users who require more than 5GB of free iCloud storage (documents, backups, contacts, calendars) and won't display ads. An additional 10GB will cost $20 per year, $40 for 20GB, and $100 for $50. Storage can be purchased through the iOS5 iCloud settings panel. Photo Stream images (hosted on iCloud for 30 days for free), iTunes media, or books, do not count toward the free 5GB quota.
The iCloud.com website will also be the place where iCloud users can access their emails, contacts and calendars from a browser. The beta site also gives access to the Find My iPhone service, and has a new section called iWork, which is unclear whether will offer editing or just viewing functionality for documents. Access beyond the login screen of iCloud.com has been sporadic for non-developers using MobileMe or OSX Lion, but 9 To 5 Mac and AppleInsider have published several screenshots of the available apps.
When launched some time this fall, iCloud will replace Apple's MobileMe $99 per year sync services offering, which will be switched off throughout the coming year. iCloud will be integrated on Apple's mobile devices as well though the iOS5 software update.