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Apple iCloud to get upgrade, report says


(CBS News) Apple's online storage service iCloud may be getting an upgrade.

The Wall Street Journal reports, iCloud's new features will include photo sharing capabilities, according to sources close to the matter.

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The iCloud upgrade would let users share photo sets with other iCloud users and comment on friends' photos.

Apple's iCloud is an online storage service that was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2011. It's been suggested by the Journal's sources that the iCloud upgrade could be announced at WWDC 2012 in June.

The service lets you sync photos, contacts and apps, among other things, between devices. For instance, if you take a photo with an iPhone, it will sync to iCloud and be available on your iPad, Mac or PC.

Currently, there is no sharing feature for photos in iCloud. It's been speculated that Apple is gearing up to compete in the photo-sharing space with companies like Facebook or Google.

Google and Facebook both have social networks that feature rich photo-sharing capabilities.

In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook reported 250 million photos uploaded per day. With Facebook's recent acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram, the social network is poised to lead in the photo-sharing space.

Apple has mostly struggled with making its products more social. The company launched iTunes Ping in 2010. At the time of launch, then chief executive officer Steve Jobs said Ping was "sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes." Ping didn't quite become a ubiquitous social network, like Facebook or Twitter.

However, iCloud could have an easier time making the crossover from a personal experience to a social one. The service is already available on iOS devices, like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. And Apple has a significant market share of mobile devices. According to a recent data from Nielsen, 43 percent of smartphone owners have an Apple iPhone. Another report by IDC reported 54.7 percent of tablet owners have an iPad.

We'll find out if iCloud will get an upgrade soon enough. WWDCwill take place in San Francisco from June 11 to 15.