Since Apple cryptically mentioned the iCloud service in a press release on Tuesday, the Internet has blossomed with speculation over what the details of the cloud service will be.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs will be discussing the service in greater detail during the keynote speech of the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, along with the newest OS versions for personal computers and mobile devices. Despite iCloud being one of the worst kept secrets in technology news, there's still plenty of mysteries about it left to ponder.
It's still a little early to separate the truth from the fiction, but here's the basics on what's being said about iCloud.
What We Know (Almost) For Sure
Apple's new iCloud service will be a music service that allows users to access their music remotely. It serves as a "digital locker" for your music, giving you the ability to enjoy your music through your various Apple devices.
Unlike its rivals Amazon Cloud and Google Music, users won't have to upload all of their music library manually. Instead, it scans your iTunes library and lets you access your digital locker remotely (similar to LaLa, a service Apple bought in 2009). It's not clear if it will just work for iTunes purchases or if it will let you access your full library, ripped CDs and all.
The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Apple has deals signed with four major record labels with Universal likely signing soon, something that iCloud's competitors don't have.
What We Think We Know, But Are Less Certain Of
Once iCloud scans your music library, it will replace all the low bit rate tracks in your library with high-quality versions from the iTunes Store. Makes theoretical sense, since it sounds like the service won't be bringing you your music per se - same song, but not the same file.
There's also a lot of talk on the impact iCloud will have on MobileMe. The service was meant to connect Apple uses' services together, but was widely panned as a failure, including by Steve Jobs himself (WARNING: Jobs uses some strong language). iCloud could lead to MobileMe becoming a free service, or replace it altogether.
What Isn't Based In Any Real Fact But Sounds Likely
Since the new mobile operating system iOS 5 will be unveiled the same day, there's a good chance the functionality of iCloud will be bundled right into the OS. It also seems that iCloud will be more of a service and less of an app, which could allow developers to create apps for the iCloud service directly.