iCloud - it's official

Well, either Apple are getting less secretive about new products, or someone in their PR department is in for a massive telling-off. However it happened, a week ahead of their big showcase at the Worldwide Developers' Conference next week, they've confirmed that one of the products shown off will be an enhanced set of online services - and that it'll be called iCloud.

As a press release put it: 'Apple® CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.'

What exactly iCloud will turn out to be, of course, is unclear. It might complement, or might replace, the existing MobileMe service for email, contact and calendar syncing; it might provide an enhanced version of the iDisk online storage system; it might even include the long-rumoured 'digital locker' backup of your iTunes library, permission for which Apple has recently obtained from all the major music labels.

And that's not all the release gives away, of course. Who does it say will be speaking? Steve Jobs. That's right, it seems whatever his current state of health, Jobs is clearly well enough to appear next week, which is good news all round.

We'll bring you all the WWDC announcements - including some hopefully nifty improvements to the iPhone's software - next week.

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