Apple has seeded iCloud Control Panel 2.0 for Windows to developers, and it adds a series of important enhancements for iCloud users with PCs. Here are the new features:

  • Shared Photo Stream support
  • The ability to create or respond to shared calendar invitations directly in Outlook
  • Improved event invitation behavior
  • Built-in calendar notifications
  • Resolves an issue where adding a reminder to an event would cause an inaccurate alert
  • Improved reliability with iCloud Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders (known as “Tasks” in Outlook)
  • Added ability to access iCloud.com from the Windows Start menu and iCloud Control Panel

As you can tell, this is a major iCloud update for PC users, bringing the software up to speed with what Mac and iOS users will receive in the fall.

(Image: 123beta) Full release notes:

Overview

This is the first seed build of the iCloud Control Panel for Windows, version 2.0.

What’s new:

This seed build of iCloud Control Panel 2.0 includes:

  • Support for Shared Photo Streams
  • The ability to create or respond to shared calendar invitations directly in Outlook
  • Improved event invitation behavior
  • Built-in calendar notifications
  • Resolves an issue where adding a reminder to an event would cause an inaccurate alert
  • Improved reliability with iCloud Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders (known as “Tasks” in Outlook)
  • Added ability to access iCloud.com from the Windows Start menu and iCloud Control Panel

System Requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 7.  Vista is not supported in this Seed.
  • Outlook 2007 or 2010 or later (recommended for Contacts and Calendar)
  • Safari 5.1.1 or Internet Explorer 8 or later (for Bookmarks)
  • Shared Photo streams: For this seed, you can only share with other seed participants or developers with access to the iOS 6 Developer Preview.

Installation instructions:

  1. Download the file <name of file> from <link to where to download it from>
  2. Double-click on the <name of file>, and follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.
  3. Open the iCloud Control Panel
  4. If you are not already signed in, sign in with your iCloud account username and password (your Apple ID)
  5. Select the services you wish to use with iCloud.  If you are using Contacts or Calendars, be sure to enable both checkboxes with this seed.

Using Shared Photo Streams

The new Shared Streams functionality is accessed by going to Start>Computer> and choosing the Photo Stream system folder.  There’s also a shortcut in the Favorites bar on any Windows Explorer window.

Known issues:

  • The seed is available in English only
  • If you sign out of the control panel and sign in as another iCloud account, you may need to restart your computer to use Shared Photo Streams with your second iCloud account
  • Adding a comment to a picture may cause the image to disappear from view
  • After signing out of iCP, kill and restart Windows Explorer, then manually delete the MediaStream folder located in:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\

    •                  Failure to do so may start the next iCP session with corrupted data from the previous user.
  • If you are unable to sign out of the iCloud Control Panel, open the task manager and stop the ApplePhotoStreams.exe process