iCloud is one of Apple's most mysterious services since few people fully know all the possibilities it offers to Apple device users. How do you set up an iCloud account? How are all its functions used?
In this article, you will find answers to many of the questions that surely arise around Apple's service as well as everything you need to know to get the most out of iCloud from any of the devices you use from Apple.
What is iCloud?
iCloud is the name that Apple gives to its range of cloud-based services, which covers areas as diverse as the synchronization of email, contacts and calendars, the location of lost devices (Find My iPhone / iPad) and storage of cloud music (iTunes).
The goal of cloud services in general, and iCloud in particular, is to store information and that is accessible to all your devices. It is known as a cloud server, rather than locally.
This means that you are not occupying storage space on any particular device, and it also means that you can access the information from any device connected to the Internet at any time.
What does iCloud do?
In essence, iCloud allows you to store information on-line and then access it from your devices like iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac and even Windows PC. But if you visit iCloud.com and you start session in your account, see that it is a simple concept.
Let's see some of the highlights:
- Contacts: if you allow synchronization, your Contacts will be accessible from both iOS and macOS devices. This means that you only need to keep a contact list, since any changes you make to your iPhone will be applied to Contacts on your Mac and other devices.
- Calendar: In the same way, iCloud synchronizes events on all your devices to be able to consult them at any moment.
- iCloud Drive: a simple way to store files in the cloud. Check our article on how to configure iCloud: create and activate account on iPhone, Mac and PC.
- Notes: You can choose to save notes locally, but if you synchronize them with iCloud, they will all be accessible from any device.
- iWork: you can use Pages, Numbers or Keynote as web applications thanks to iCloud. You can also save TextEdit documents in the cloud and share them.
ICloud pricing and plans
iCloud is free to start. You can configure iCloud without paying a penny, but this comes with a limited amount of storage, as many similar services do, so when you start using it, you won't be able to go back.
That is when, if you need more space and plan to make a backup of multiple devices in the cloud, or store photos and videos important for you, you will need more capacity from iCloud.
These are some of the plans Apple currently offers for iCloud and its prices:
- 5 GB: free
- 50 GB: 0.99
- 200 GB: 2.99
- 2TB: 9.99
How to update the storage plan
The process of updating the iCloud plan is simple. You can do it from an iPhone or iPad, from a Mac or even from a Windows PC.
On iPhone or iPad: go to Settings and press your name at the top of the screen to log in.
In the second group of options that appears, click on iCloud; At the top of the next screen, below the Storage heading, you see a small graph that visually shows what content your GB or TB consumes. Press Manage storage.
From a Mac computer, open System Preferences and then select iCloud to press Manage located in the lower right corner of the screen. Select the option to Buy more storage or Change plans.
On PC: Open iCloud for Windows, click on Storage and select Buy more storage or Change plans, following the step-by-step instructions.
How to configure iCloud
Your iCloud account is associated with your Apple ID. So, if you still don't have an Apple ID, you should create it. You may also have to update the operating system on your device (some functions of iCloud are only available in more recent versions).
Your next step depends on the device you are using.
- On iPad or iPhone: Within the process of setting up iPhone or iPad, iOS will ask you if you want to use iCloud. If you did not activate it during the configuration, you can go to Configuration and log in by entering your Apple ID and password.
- On Mac: Open System Preferences and click on iCloud. Now log in with your Apple ID and mark the services you want to use.
- On Apple TV (fourth generation or 4K): If you did not choose to activate iCloud (by entering your Apple ID) go to Settings> Accounts> iCloud, to select Start session.
If you want to find out more in detail how to create an account in iCloud or your Apple ID, see the article on How does iCloud work ?.
How to use iCloud
Most of the time, iCloud works in the background; If you have allowed iCloud to do its own thing (which in many cases is the default setting), you will simply find that the documents you created on one device are available on another.
The same happens with calendar events and contact details, which are synchronized naturally and without your being aware of it. Make a note or create a new contact and instantly see it reflected on the other device.
If you want to test the capabilities of iCloud in an application, make sure you have it activated.
On iOS, open Settings and tap on your ID located at the top of the screen; Vers all applications and services that can use iCloud. Touch the chosen application so that the slider turns green.
On Mac, open System Preferences and click on iCloud. The process in macOS is very similar to what was discussed with iOS, with similar configuration and management options.
You may also want to learn how to download photos from iCloud in order to free up space or have a copy of your image library in local mode. Here we explain how to download photos from iCloud to your Mac's hard drive in simple steps.
. files (t) Windows (t) macOS (t) iWork (t) Numbers (t) Internet (t) Apple TV (t) server (t) cloud (t) Mac (t) app (t) services in the cloud (t) PC (t) iPad (t) Apple (t) the cloud (t) iTunes (t) iPhone (t) iCloud (t) iOS (t) ios-apps (t) apple (t) software -mac (t) tips (t) table of contents