Apple iCloud to Gain Upgrade Including Photo Sharing

Apple iCloud users will be able to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on photos. An official announcement is expected at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2012. The service already allows users to share photos among multiple devices as soon as a photo is taken. The upgrade is seen as a way to compete with Instagram, which was recently acquired by Facebook.

Instagram is a free photo sharing program launched in October 2010 that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram's own. The product launched in Apple's App Store on October 6, 2010. Instagram for Android was released on April 3, 2012. Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock on April 12, 2012.

Apple's iCloud -- less than one year old -- is a cloud storage and cloud computing service that was  announced on June 6, 2011 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple announced it would launch iCloud on October 12, 2011. Instagram's new Android version in Google Play exceeded over one million downloads within 12 hours, and in April 2012 Instagram reported 30 million users. Apple's iCloud had 20 million users in less than a week after launch, and in April 2012 Apple claims to have 125 million iCloud users.

The iCloud service has gone through an evolution with names including iTools (2000), .Mac (2002), and MobileMe (2008).

MobileMe will be discontinued after June 30, 2012, with anyone who had an account before the unveiling of iCloud having their MobileMe service extended to that date, at no charge. was retained as the default email address for new iCloud users. Apple iCloud forces users to upgrade to Lion and/or iOS 5 in order to sync respective devices.