Apple’s rumored iCloud service may be an upgrade to MobileMe, ‘Castle’ codename spotted

Apple cloudThe number of signs that Apple is planning some sort of cloud-based offering continue to grow as the June 6 WWDC gathering in San Francisco, Calif. draws closer. Last week we heard a rumor that the company had purchased the domain name iCloud for $4.5 million, and the week before that it was reported an agreement was reached with Warner Music Group to allow for cloud streaming via iTunes. Now the name “Castle” has been spotted in some Apple software code, along an indication that this mysterious feature is an upgrade to the company’s MobileMe service, which was discontinued as a retail product in February.

The references to Castle were discovered in the code for the latest developer build of OS X Lion, French blog Consomac reports (via PC World). While searching for references to iCloud, MobileMe and other associated terms, researchers discovered two telling strings: “Complete your Castle upgrade” and “Click OK to open System Preferences and complete your upgrade from MobileMe to Castle.”

Castle doesn’t sound like an official product name that Apple would use and is likely a codename. The belief is that Castle and iCloud are synonymous; if that’s the case, Apple’s cloud plans seem to encompass more than just music streaming. MobileMe is a subscription-based collection of Internet services, including remote storage and content syncing across multiple devices. If iCloud is Castle and Castle is an upgrade to MobileMe… the math is pretty easy to work out from there.

Answers will certainly be coming at WWDC, as Apple’s stated plan to unveil the “future of iOS and Mac OS” seems to fall in line with a full-featured cloud services offering.

esearchers for the blog were looking for references to Find My Mac, iCloud, and MobileMe when they ran into something called “Castle.” More specifically, they were able to locate strings that say “Complete your Castle upgrade,” and “Click OK to open System Preferences and complete your upgrade from MobileMe to Castle.”

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