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Exploring the Features of Apple iCloud

Apple’s iCloud is a popular service that lets user sync data from their Apple devices onto the cloud. While the program itself is available to Apple customers at no charge, the basic service only includes 5 GB of cloud storage space. Users who require more space will have to pay for that. Windows users can even take advantage of Apple iCloud, but this article focuses on accessing the service from an Apple device.

Accessing iCloud

To access iCloud, you will first need an Apple ID and the matching password. The account itself is available for free, and users of iTunes have already registered an Apple ID. Those who do not use iTunes can create their own Apple ID through the iPhone itself or online.

Next, go to your device settings and navigate to the iCloud tab. While this is typically turned on by default, some users may have to do so manually. Users will also be prompted to enter their Apple ID and password here.

Once you’ve created your Apple ID and logged on to iCloud, simply launch the service as you normally would. The only true application available for iCloud at the time of this writing is Documents 5, which lets you view the data that is stored in your iCloud Drive. Several are already capable of storing information to your iCloud Drive, and any such information can be seen using the Documents 5 app.

iCloud Backup

Using iCloud Backup to archive data from an iPad or iPhone is an automated process that occurs when the device detects a WiFi connection. While this provides a highly convenient means of archiving data, a manual backup can be initiated at any time simply by navigating to your device settings, choosing iCloud and then tapping on the Backup tab. From there, simply tap on “Back Up Now” to start the manual backup process.

iCloud Photo Library

Although the service is currently in its beta phase, the iCloud Photo Library lets you view, manage and store photos on your iCloud Drive. In order to use the iCloud Photo Library, however, it must first be enabled through your device’s Settings menu. This may differ from device to device, but the option to turn on the iCloud Photo Library (Beta) can typically be found under the Photos & Camera tab.
Users of the Apple iPhone may also want to select the “Optimize iPhone Storage,” especially those with less than 128 GB of iPhone memory. This will help users store more images, and at higher resolutions, without having to worry about running out of storage space.

iCloud Keychain

Those who use Safari can also take advantage of the iCloud Keychain, which automatically syncs your password and login data between all of your Apple devices. To do so, make sure the service is turned on by navigating to your device’s Settings menu, selecting iCloud and then Keychain. Next, simply tap the option to change the status of iKeychain to On. From here, users can use the Passwords & Autofill section in Safari to control exactly which information should be synced.

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