In the runup to the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 launch, Apple's (news, site) new cloud service is live for those with a developer account.

Building New Services

iOS app developers will soon be able to store data, content and information in the iCloud and they can start testing their code and integrating those APIs now as Apple has opened the website to developers to test out their apps.

The service requires an iOS 5 beta version or OS X Lion installed and those with general Apple and iTunes accounts can't log in and take a browse, if you were thinking of having an early gander at the features. Developers can use the iCloud Storage APIs to allows their apps to store documents and data in iCloud with a wireless push to users' devices for updating.

UPDATE: U.K. prices have been announced with Brits having to pay £14 for 10GB extra storage, £28 for 20GB and £70 for 50GB. Which is just a little above the actual exchange rate and not an almighty rip-off for once.


Apple's icloud welcomes careful developers

Apple's icloud welcomes careful developers

Documents in the Cloud

With Webmail, contact management, the calendar and ever-handy Find My iPhone feature, the site is familiar territory for MobileMe subscribers, who can have their content synched into the new service, with the added benefits of cloud storage for iWork documents plus the coming ability to sync media to the cloud.

When it does launch publicly, users will get 5GB of storage free and can then pay to upgrade to 10GB for US$ 20, 20GB for US$ 40 and 50GB for US$ 100 on an annual basis. For most users, the free option will be fine for storing photos and data, while those looking to move music and video to the cloud will be forking out for it.

With Microsoft, Google and others looking to create a transparent cloud service for users across multiple devices, Apple will be setting the bar high, judging by these screens, and there is bound to be more on display come the official launch.