One of the new features of iOS5 that Apple released, that has been very useful is the iCloud.  This gives you 5GB free to backup and sync data off of your iOS5 device.  It is nice to see this kind of cloud technology coming to a mobile device, but it is far from the first.  I have been using Dropbox and Google Docs for similar kinds of functionality.  But what separates iCloud from these services is how it is integrated into the device and syncs some of your more basic data, such as Contacts, or Bookmarks.

As far as backing up data, such as Contacts or Bookmarks, this is not a big deal for me.  I have been making backups of my iPhone and iPad in iTunes for quite a while.  What iCloud brings to the table that is different in this scenario, is syncing.  iCloud now lets me easily sync my Contacts, Bookmarks, and data on both my iPhone and iPad as they both use the same Apple ID.  This is something that was not easy to do in iTunes, and having the ability to update a contact on just one device and have it sync to the other, is awesome.  For a listing of some of the other features on the iOS5 device that can be synced, look in Settings, iCloud to see a list of them.

So while this new backup / syncing feature of iCloud is very useful, if you don’t use multiple iOS5 devices you are not going to see it in action as much.  On the other hand, if you were not already backing up your Apple device to iTunes before, this might be a nice way to ensure your contacts and data are saved off of your device.  iCloud still does not do the job of a good iTunes backup though, as it only does certain built in apps for backup.  Where a true iTunes backup pretty much takes a snap shot image of your device.

There are my thoughts on the iCloud, I think it is a brilliant piece to be added to the iOS5 devices, and definitely a great first step to making them more cloud devices.  If you have not upgrade to iOS5 yet to try out this feature, I would greatly recommend it.