According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is about to unveil an upgraded iCloud service at WWDC in June. Citing the usual sources “familiar with the matter,” the report also claimed the features would include new photo-sharing capabilities for sharing and commenting on sets of photos. It also mentioned the ability to sync video to iCloud, which sounds a lot like a Video Stream feature that we mentioned last year. Perhaps this is the reason Phil Schiller no longer needed Instagram?
The new features, expected to be announced at Apple’s world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them, these people said… Apple is trying to better compete in the red-hot market for photo sharing, dominated by fast-growing online services such as Facebook Inc. and mobile apps like Instagram—which Facebook has agreed to acquire for $1 billion.
We revealed last September that Apple was readying its Find My Friends network. At the time, we reported references to video streams that indicated Apple was likely considering a video syncing/stream feature similar to Photo Stream.
According to the report, Apple is “rolling out new features cautiously” as it worries about the cost of storing large amounts of data, but is also considering increasing the maximum number of photos and albums users can store:
…Apple is rolling out new features cautiously as it worries about the costs of storing huge volumes of user data, the people familiar with the matter said… Apple executives continue to discuss expanding the number of photos and albums users can store via iCloud to make the service resemble its iPhoto downloadable software, one of the people familiar with the matter said. But it is moving cautiously because of costs.
As we reported last week, The Wall Street Journal also confirmed today that the refreshed service would include access to Notes and Reminders through iCloud.com. At its Q2 2012 earnings call in April, Apple announced iCloud has 125 million users, which is an increase of 25 million users since February.