How To Use The iCloud

How To Use The iCloud

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Today, let’s highlight the many features of iCloud.

To start, iCloud allows device back up, restore, updating to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch as well as managing your iTunes apps, books, music, TV shows, movies, Match, and Photo Stream in the cloud. If you don’t already know, iCloud is Apple’s online content service built to make managing your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV, and your iTunes content easier and more efficient. iCloud is based in the “cloud”, which is merely a way of saying giant data centers filled with servers that you can access from your device over Wi-Fi or Cellular internet, wherever you may be, and whenever you want your content. It consists of several services that work with the apps on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and with iTunes and a handful of desktop apps on your Mac and yes, even Windows machines. Most iCloud services are free, like other “cloud” services, additional storage and services are available for purchase.

Because the vast majority of iCloud services are free, and because they work automatically and transparently in the background to backup your data and give you access to your content, no questions asked, you should absolutely use it!

Setup, backup, restore, and update your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with iCloud

Thanks to iCloud, you no longer need to plug your iDevice your Mac or Windows PC, then go into iTunes to set it up your iDevice the first time, to keep it backed up, or to upgrade the software. All of that is done faster and more easily, over-the-air (OTA) while on a Wi-Fi network. Because routine tasks, like backups, happen automatically, there is no need to worry about forgetting them and then finding out you don’t have a backup when you need it most.

iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, Bookmarks, Notes, and Reminders

iCloud includes push email, calendaring, and contact services. Push service simply means whenever you receive an email, it’s immediately made available on all your iDevices. Whenever you make or modify an appointment it shows up in your calendar on all your iDevices. Whenever you add or change contact information, that change is reflected in the contacts on all of your iDevices. You access these services via the Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, as well as via the iCloud.com website from any desktop browser, or through popular mail, calendar, and contacts apps on your Mac or Windows PC. iCloud will also sync Safari Bookmarks, Notes, as well as Reminders.

iTunes in the Cloud

iTunes part of iCloud lets you access content you’ve bought from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore, re-download it to your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and to iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC, and stream your music, movies, and TV shows to your Apple TV.

iTunes Match

iTunes Match is Apple’s iCloud-based “music locker” service that allows you to store copies of all your music on Apple’s servers and re-download it from any of your devices, at any time. iTunes Match isn’t free, however. It comes at a price — $24.99 a year (in the U.S.).

Documents in the Cloud

Thanks to iCloud you no longer have to fuss with traditional files and folders or worry about forgetting where you stored a document when you go back to look for it later. For apps that support Documents in the Cloud, all you have to remember is which app (or apps) opens the type of file you want to work on. From then on, iCloud manages everything, storing any changes you make back up to the server, and pushing down those updates to every device you have logged into your account. Create a Keynote presentation on your iPad at home, get to work and it’s ready and waiting for you on your iPhone, Mac or via iCloud.com.

Find my iPhone

Find my iPhone — or Find my iPod or Find my iPad — keeps track of your iCloud-enabled devices so you can track them down if they’re lost or stolen, and even remotely message, lock, and erase it to keep your data secure.

Keep a look out for more detailed information from The MacMentor about each of these iCloud headings in the coming weeks.

Geoff Horwitz

About Geoff Horwitz

Geoff Horwitz, The MacMentor, is a computer technology guru. He has wealth of experience and expertise not only in Apple technology but in computing needs in general. Geoff has spent more than 20 years consulting for big businesses, most recently with Apple. He began his own successful business after he realized that there was a real need and demand for quality consulting and training on a smaller but much more gratifying scale. Now, as the MacMentor, he shares his knowledge with consumers, schools, libraries, and small businesses. Specializing in, but not limited to Apple technology. You can see from the reviews from his customers they not only appreciate what is learned, but also for his relaxed, patient and humorous style of mentoring. You can learn more about Geoff at his website, www.themacmentor.com