What exactly is iCloud, anyway?
iCloud is Apple’s solution for finding a place to keep your content, and accessing it anywhere you have an Internet connection. But it does a lot more than merely store data at a remote location. It lets you access your music, photos, calendars, contacts, documents, and more from whatever device you happen to be using, be it iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. By constantly syncing your content, without you having to do anything, you gain access across all your devices.
How does it work?
Let’s use just one example to give you a feel for how it works. You take a photo of your kid playing soccer with your iPhone. In no time, it’s automatically on your Mac (or PC) and iPad. Buy a song, movie, or TV show on iTunes from any of your Apple devices, and iTunes in the Cloud insures it is automatically added to the song libraries on all your other devices, wirelessly and without any intervention on your part. You can also access past music, movie, and TV show purchases from any of your devices — wirelessly and without syncing.
And iCloud doesn’t stop there. You can use it to find a lost or stolen iPhone or Mac. You can store documents created in iCloud-compatible apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Share some or all of a Photo Stream with just the people you choose. If you own multiple iOS devices, iCloud makes sure the apps you get on one are installed on the others, automatically. Same thing with books you purchase from the iBookstore (it even goes to the page you left off on, even if it was on another device).
iCloud also acts as a kind of digital safety net, backing up the good stuff on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, stuff like purchased music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books. It backs up the photos and video in your Camera Roll. It saves device settings, app data, home screen and app organization, messages, and ringtones. So losing or breaking a device doesn’t mean the same thing happens to your data.
What’s iTunes Match?
If you want the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is a great solution. It’s already built into the iTunes app of your Mac or PC, and the Music app on your iOS devices. iTunes Match lets you store your entire collection (up to 25,000 songs), including music you’ve imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes, for $24.99 a year.
What about Apple TV?
Apple TV supports iCloud. Just turn it on and enter your Apple ID. You can then gain access to your Photo Stream, iTunes Match, and any movies and TV shows you’ve purchased on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.
I’d rather have someone else set up iCloud for me. Does Connecting Point do that?
Yes. Yes, we do.
Automatic downloads and downloading previous purchases require iOS 4.3.3 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd generation or later), or iPad; iOS 5 or later on iPhone 4 (CDMA model); or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3.1 or later. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.
Downloading previous movie purchases requires iTunes 10.6 or later, iOS 5 or later, or Apple TV software 4.3 or later. Not all previously purchased movies are available for downloading to your other devices. Download iTunes 10.7 free.
iTunes Match requires iOS 5.0.1 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd generation or later), or iPad, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.5.1 or later. Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
Backup of purchased music is not available in all countries. Previous purchases may not be restored if they are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.
Find My Friends and Find My iPhone enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan.
Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas. Click here to see complete list.
iCloud requires iOS 5 or later on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd generation or later), or iPad; a Mac computer with OS X Lion or later; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion. Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.
Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iCloud are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.