Users can simply sign in to set up an iCloud account at the newly launched iCloud.com by using their Apple ID, the same identification used to make purchases on Apple's App Store.
Upon signing in, users are asked to select their language and pick a time zone. The site then presents five options in the form of iOS-style icons.
From there, users can check their mail, review their contacts, view calendars, use the "Find My iPhone" feature to locate a device, and access the Web-based version of iWork.
With iCloud, documents from Apple's iWork applications for iOS — Pages, Keynote and Numbers — are stored online and kept up to date. With it, users will be able to access the latest version of their documents, no matter what device they are reading or editing them on. For more, see AppleInsider's in-depth look at iCloud's new Documents & Data service.
iCloud serves as a replacement for its predecessor, MobileMe. Unlike MobileMe, iCloud is free to all iOS 5 and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion users, and offers 5GB of storage, while more can be purchased.
Developers have been testing iCloud with iOS 5 and Lion applications for months. Wednesday marks the first time that the general public has been able to utilize iCloud.
The debut of iCloud comes ahead of the launch of iOS 5, scheduled to happen later today. iOS 5 will be available for download for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Users must first upgrade to iTunes 10.5, released on Tuesday, in order to update their mobile device.