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Heads in the iCloud

When Apple previewed iOS 5, the latest version of the software that runs the iPhone and iPad, last month, there was one feature which more than any other got people going: iCloud. Rather than having to constantly connect your iPhone to your PC to sync apps, photos and music, iCloud would do it all wirelessly. Rather than having to pay $100 a year to use Apple's crappy MobileMe service for iPhone mail, iCloud provided good free mail. It seemed slick and exciting.

But then there was some confusion about what would happen with iCloud when you weren't on your phone or iPad. Could you look at your mail, photos and the like over the web? Or was this a devices-only solution?

Well, now we have the answer. iCloud.com, previously just host to an Apple holding page, has sprung into life with a nifty array of web apps for iCloud users - currently those rocking the iOS 5 beta. There's web mail, a calendar, address book, and access to the Find my iPhone service. There's also, interestingly, rudimentary access to web versions of Apple's new iWork suite of apps.

The new iCloud.com seems to be gathering rave reviews. MG Seigler, of the blog TechCrunch, reckonsit's 'beautiful' and notes, 'Both in Safari and Chrome, all the apps feel responsive and feature many subtle transitional touches presumably using HTML5.'

Apple's also revealed the payment plans for additional storage for iCloud, for those who can't make do with the 5GB offered for free. It's $16 a year for 15GB, rising to $80 a year for a whopping 55GB. That should be enough for most people, given that iCloud only stores photos going back 30 days in the cloud.

Are you excited about flying up to the iCloud?

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