Apple confirms iCloud and iOS 5

Two of the worst-kept secrets in technology were confirmed today – the arrival of both iCloud and iOS 5. Although to Apple's credit, we're still playing something of a guessing game on both.

Apple was giving little away in the official announcement, simply confirming that 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 6 June at 10am. At the keynote, Apple will unveil (amongst other things) iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

What isn't mentioned is the iPhone 5, which we can presume is delayed and likely to land in September – if the majority of rumours are to be believed. However, the iOS 5 software update will give us plenty of pointers as to what we should expect from the next iPhone. All of which will be detailed in a matter of days.

The iCloud service was always likely to launch at the WWDC event, but details are still thin on the ground. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has now concluded deals with the major record labels (Warner, Sony, Universal and EMI), which means the service is ready to go.

It would allow Apple customers to create online music collections, which would be available to access anywhere. It uses something called 'scan and match', which means you don't need to upload collections as Apple will scan your library and replicate it online. Amazon and Google have both attempted a similar service, but with Apple getting agreements with the labels in place first, it looks likely to dominate this sector in its infancy too, just as did it with digital music generally.

All official details coming on Monday. We'll have the lowdown as soon as the words leave Mr Jobs' mouth.

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