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Apple launches iCloud beta for developers

Apple has handed developers the first beta of its iCloud syncing and storage service.

You'll need a developer account and an Apple ID as well as a device running the latest iOS5 beta to get in and have a snoop around, but several tech sites (or developers associated with those sites) seem to have ignored Apple's NDA shenanigans and published details of the free service and its paid-for add-ons.

General consensus seems to be that iCloud, as expected, is a revamp of the existing MobileMe service for which Apple fans have been shelling out annual subscriptions for years.

The current beta doesn't include iTunes in the Cloud as yet or the controversial pirate music amnesty service iTunes Match.

Although the core service - which will keep all of your emails, calendars, contacts iWork documents and media synced up over multiple Apple and non-Apple devices - is free for the first 5GB of storage, data bolt-ons will be available.

An extra 10GB will $20 a year, 20GB will be $40 and heavy users can grab 50GB for $100 per annum which is significantly pricier than other services like Amazon's, but what do you expect from Apple?

UK users can expect those dollar prices to translate directly into pounds as Apple is no respecter of exchange rates.

Mashable has some screen shots if you want a look but don't meet the entry requirements.