Cloud storage is quickly becoming more commonplace in a wide variety of capacities. As one of the top tech companies in the world, it’s only natural that Apple would eventually come out with a cloud service of their own. They use the cloud in a number of different ways, from allowing people to download content on the fly to allowing people to store their information to a cloud server so they have a backup of their content. It can work as additional space for a hard drive, and it can work as a place to keep the files safe. Using cloud storage also makes it easy to access files from other computers and devices.
Users can upload photos and other files from their iPhone and then access it from their Mac or iPod, since it synchronizes across devices. This makes it a handy option for both individuals and for those who run businesses. Upload music on your Mac and then listen to it on your iPhone, or upload a presentation on your desktop Mac and access it on your laptop, for example.
The Early Days and Today
While the cloud is just really starting to get popular now, this was not Apple’s first foray into the field. A system called MobileMe preceded iCloud. This subscription program would allow files to synchronize between devices. Some of the types of files synced included email, calendars, bookmarks, and photo galleries. The latest iteration of the service, iCloud, can do all of this and more. It even has a free component for up to 5GB of storage for users. One of the nice things about this free space is that the purchases you make in the iTunes store don’t count against that 5GB of space.
iCloud tends to work the best when you are using Apple devices, since they are build with Apple products in mind. It’s very easy to connect devices using iOS and Mac OS to the cloud. It becomes very easy to synchronize the devices.
Using the features of iCloud makes it easy to access data from all of your devices, no matter where you enter that data. You can store your contact information, photos, songs, and much more with ease and you can access it from nearly any device that connects to the web. You should be able to access it easily with your Apple ID. It is possible to authorize up to ten devices to use the cloud.
One of the things that customers will likely appreciate about the service is that the interface should be very familiar. It looks and behaves similarly to that of other Apple products, so it should be easy to navigate and understand for most. Getting started with the cloud is simple this way, and it doesn’t take any vast understanding of what the cloud really is! Since the cloud is still relatively new, at least for many consumers, introducing them to this system slowly and with an interface they already know is a good idea.
What Does the Service Cost?
As mentioned, users will have access to 5GB of free storage on the system. It also has unlimited storage for all of the items that you buy from the iTunes store. This includes things such as the books, music, movies, television shows, and apps that you buy and download to your phone or other devices. The 5GB of space is for additional content that is yours, such as your photos or your documents.
For many consumers out there, 5GB may be enough for their storage needs. However, others really want to utilize the iCloud as much as possible, and they realize that it can be a great way to keep all manner of different files safe in the event of theft or a hard drive crash. Since you can upload photos to the cloud, you never have to worry about misplacing photo albums, crashed hard drives, or fires destroying your precious memories. They will always be safe in the cloud.
For an additional 10GB, for a total of 15GB, the cost is currently $20 per year. An additional 20GB costs $40 per year, and 50 additional GB costs $100 per year.
It is always important to remember when reading online reviews that the actual price of the service may be different when you look into the program. Companies will change the prices over time, and they may even offer the occasional discount, although Apple is not a company well known for offering discounts on their products and services.
The Good and the Bad of iCloud
iCloud can back up a wide range of different things for you. It can back up the device settings you have on your devices, the arrangement of apps on your screen, your text messages and ringtones, and your purchases from iTunes. It also records app data, photos and videos on your camera roll. The backup and syncing process is very simple, and you can set it up so that it is automatic. You never really have to think about the background operations of the cloud. If you want to store other photos and documents to the cloud, the process is nearly as simple, and it is very intuitive. Still, as good as the service is, it does face some challenges today.
For example, there are still limitations to the software that will access the cloud. This is one of the common challenges faced by their competitors in cloud services, as well. In some cases, the service is available through a feature in the app. Other times, users will have to go to iCloud.com to manage the system. As long as they have a connection to the web though, this should not be too much trouble.
iCloud generally tends to work the best with Apple products. It’s possible to get some elements of it to work with other devices, such as Windows devices. However, it requires special syncing to work properly, and for some it is more hassle than it is worth.
This is not the only cloud service available today, and due to that, Apple faces some stiff competition from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, all of which are offering similar types of services. However, those who have Apple products will certainly want to take advantage of the iCloud. Those who have a large number of devices from Apple may want to use it exclusively, while others might want to use their free 5GB and see if it warrants upgrading to a higher subscription plan. Since you can share data with family members, it might turn out to be a good idea to upgrade so the entire family has more space.
Overall, the service is very easy to use, and it comes with a reasonable price. You have 5GB to use from the start at absolutely no cost to you, as well. This makes it easier to get an idea of how the program works and whether it is the right choice for you or not. Since you have the option, try out the 5GB individual program before you decide you really need to upgrade. You may not need to have quite as much space as you think you do, but if you do, it’s nice to know it’s available at a good price!