August 31, 2021

iCloud is Apple's cloud service that provides features to sync all of your iOS and macOS devices together. 

iCloud is Apple's way of linking customer's data from feature apps, such as calendar, mail, contacts and photos, between devices as well as storing it on the cloud to be accessed remotely at any point when it may be needed. The online storage system is similar to that of Dropbox or Google Drive, but it can be set up to automatically backup data from all your iOS or macOS devices daily. 

In this article we are going to look at the ins and outs of iCloud, how it works and how it can benefit you. 

 

What does iCloud store and sync? 

The majority of Apple's feature in-house apps on iOS and macOS sync together using iCloud's functions. These apps include: 

Calendar, Mail, Contacts, Messages, Reminders, Notes, Home, Health, Maps, Find My, Books, Wallet, Shortcuts & News

Along with this, you can also sync and backup your photos and videos to your iCloud Photo Library to ensure all of those special memories and important moments are secure from all of your devices.

If you have Safari bookmarks and open tabs, these can also be synced so that you can continue your web browsing on any of your iCloud devices through Safari. Keychain is also a function of iCloud which securely stores and syncs login data and passwords across devices for different websites and apps. 

iCloud Drive is also a key part of your storage solution for all of your Apple devices. With iCloud Drive, you can upload all of your documents, audio files, images and basically anything else that you want in order to securely store it and have access to it across all Apple devices linked to your account. You can also sync data from third-party apps if you wish to which ensures an all-round fully connected network between all your devices. 

 

Is iCloud free? 

The answer is yes - but only to an extent. Signing up for iCloud is super easy and with this you will receive a free 5GB of storage. This small free token of storage will be quickly filled if you connect even one Apple device. Videos, photos, iCloud backups and iCloud Drive will suck up the majority of this space unless you are a brand new Apple user and have no data at all. 

Once you have used up this 5GB, you won't be able to store any more data on iCloud unless you delete old data or choose to upgrade to a paid subscription plan, outlined below. 

 

How much does an iCloud plan cost? 

Thankfully Apple have a range of different storage tiers to cater for all users. These prices have largely remained stable across the entire lifespan of iCloud since it was introduced in 2011. 

    • 50GB - NZ$1.69/month
    • 200GB - NZ$4.99/month
    • 2TB - NZ$16.99/month

The 50GB subscription is probably the most commonly used. This will cover the average Apple user and all necessary content. The 200GB subscription is usually used by those who have a large amount of photo and video content or those will large amounts of documents. The 2TB subscription is commonly used to share between a family and can hold and huge amount of data!

You can also purchase iCloud plans through Apple One and Family Sharing where prices will vary depending on the storage size you choose. Your subscription can be managed at any time on any of your Apple devices. 

 

Where can I use iCloud?

iCloud is supported by any Apple device that has been released since 2011. iCloud is a built-in function and can be accessed and managed through settings on your iOS and Apple TV devices, as well as your System Preferences on macOS devices. You can also manage and restore data through iCloud.com which is where you can access all your data at once! 

 

What is an iCloud backup?

An iCloud backup is essentially when a copy of your data from your device is taken and stored off-device. It could be seen as insurance for all of your data and files as it means that if anything did happen to your device, you could retrieve and access some of, if not all of, your data again when setting up a new device. Because of this, we highly recommend backing up your devices frequently just as a precaution for if the worst case scenario did play out! 

iCloud backups include a huge range of different things including app data, device settings, iMessage/Text message conversations, photos and videos, purchase history and Apple Watch backups. Content such as calendar adjustments or contacts are constantly updated so are not included the automatic daily iCloud backup. 

If you have an iCloud account, by default your iOS devices will automatically update daily. This is as long as your device is connected to WiFi and has charge. The most common time for the backup to occur is during the night when the device is undisturbed the most. Manual backups are also possible at any stage through Settings on your iOS device. You may want to do this if you obtain a vital piece of information that you need to access across all your devices or need to ensure that you won't loose. 

If you are setting up or restoring a device, the option to restore from a recent iCloud backup will be available and you can choose the most recent date to ensure you get the most up-to-date content! 

 

How do I access my iCloud data remotely?

iCloud.com lets you access Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Reminders, and Photos from the web on any browser. You don't have to be on an Apple device to access this site. Here you can also access your iCloud Drive incase you need to find and use any documents or things you may have saved there!

Web-based versions of the iWork suite, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are also available to use if you are needing to adjust something but don't have access to your Apple device. Each of these web apps offers most of the same functionality as their iOS and macOS equivalents.

 

How do I sign up for an iCloud account?

When you sign up for an Apple ID, you automatically will have an iCloud account also! You can create a new iCloud account on any iPhone, iPad, or Mac through Settings.

If you are setting up a new device, you'll be given the option of using a current Apple ID for iCloud or setting up a new Apple ID to use with iCloud. You can follow these prompts also which will take you through a quick and easy process to create your new Apple ID and iCloud account! 

 

If you have any more questions regarding iCloud don't hesitate to get in touch with our DeXTech team through our website or social media - we would love to help you! 

 

Here at DeXTech, we are here to help you with your technology requirements. We stock a wide range of Apple products, from the iPhone 4s all the way through to the iPhone XS, plus the iPad range. Along with this, we carry a huge range of Android smartphones and tablets, including Samsung, Pixel and LG. With these devices on hand we are able to offer technical support every step of the way from assisting to get your device setup to dealing with issues such as network issues or software troubleshooting. We have a helpful team who can lend a hand via our tech support email address: support@dextech.co.nz. Do not hesitate to reach out!



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