Apple iCloud Tips: What you Should be Doing with Apple’s iCloud
Apple launched the iCloud storage system almost a year ago, and every user with an Apple ID gets 5 GB of storage absolutely free so that they can back up their settings and applications from their iPhone, iPod, iPad, and other Apple devices. The iCloud service can also sync your documents, emails, and photographs with your mobile devices and your Mac computer.
When Apple developed iCloud, it was with the intention of allowing their users to access their stuff regardless of what device they were using, and it does exactly that. However, it can be a little confusing at times to use, and many users don’t use this great service to its full potential.
In this article we are going to show you some of the great things you can, and should do with Apple’s iCloud. But first, you need to ensure that you have iCloud activated on all of your Apple devices. If you need help setting iCloud up on any of your devices, check out this article. If you already have iCloud set up and activated on your devices, read on.
Documents in the Cloud
If your Mac computer uses Apple’s newest operating system, Mountain Lion, more of your non-Apple applications should be able to use Documents in the Cloud. In order to use Documents in the Cloud you have to have Documents & Data checked in the iCloud sync settings. Once that is checked, you can upload drawings, presentations, text documents, and more.
Of course, you can upload anything that has been created using any of Apple’s productivity apps such as Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes, but other application developers now also have the option to allow you to save your files to an iCloud account. Although there aren’t many third party apps that can do this yet, many more app developers will likely take advantage of it once more people begin to use Mountain Lion.
Any documents that are saved in iCloud can be accessed either from icloud.com, from a Mac pc, or from any Apple mobile device.
If you use Photo Stream, any photographs you take will automatically sync with all of your Apple devices. For example: if you take a photo with your iPad, it will appear automatically in iPhoto on your Mac and other devices. Meaning that you will rarely, if ever have to plug your device into your Mac computer.
Photo Stream can be activated in the iCloud settings on your Mac or apple mobile device.
Automatic App & Music Downloads Across Devices
If you go to your iTunes preferences, you can set your Mac to automatically download any books, music, and apps that you purchase from the iTunes store. This can be very useful if you don’t want to have to download your files song by song or app by app.
You can also activate this on your mobile devise by going to Settings, and then selecting the Store option.
Sync Safari Reading Lists
If you like to read articles Reading Lists is a feature you will enjoy. Reading Lists is a very cool feature that syncs any articles that you save from the web to all of your mobile devices. Meaning that if you leave your Mac computer before finishing an article, you can easily start reading it again on your iPad, or iPhone.
In order to use Reading Lists, you do have to enable it on your Mac and on your mobile devices. To do this, go to System Preferences on your Mac, and make sure that Safari is checked in the iCloud settings. Then go to Settings on your other devices and ensure that Bookmarks is checked.
Once it is set up, you can save any articles that you are reading to your iCloud by simply clicking on the icon that looks like a pair of glasses. Unfortunately, this will not work for any other browsers.
Sync Settings Using Wi-Fi
Before iCloud, if you wanted to sync your settings, apps, music, documents, photo’s etc you had to plug your mobile device into your Mac. But with iCloud, you can easily use iPhone and iPad backup to automatically sync everything to your iCloud account using Wi-Fi. If there is ever a problem and you need to restore your device, all you need to do is log in with your Apple ID and everything will be downloaded from iCloud.
To use this feature, all you need to do is turn iCloud backup on under the iCloud settings.
Check How Much Storage Space you Have Used
As we mentioned earlier, everyone with an Apple ID gets 5 GB of free storage, but that really isn’t very much, so to check and see how much space you have used go to System Preferences on your Mac, then choose iCloud and click Manage. This will give you a list of all of your saved items and tell you how much space you are using.
To check on your mobile devices, go to settings – iCloud – Storage & Backup – Manage Storage.
If you find that you are using too much space, you can delete old backups, change what you want to back up to iCloud, and remove large app backups, or those that you don’t need or want from the manage screen. Alternatively, you can purchase additional storage space.
To Purchase Additional Storage Space
If you find you need to purchase additional storage space you can do so online, in System Preferences on your Mac, or under the iCloud settings on your mobile device. Currently, Apple charges $40 a year for 20 GB or $100 a year for $50 GB.
To Sum it Up
As you can see, iCloud is an extremely useful tool for anyone that owns a Mac computer, and any Apple mobile devices. Regardless of whether you own an iPod, iPad, iPad Mini, or iPhone Apple’s iCloud has features that will help you to share photographs, documents, and files between all of your devices quickly and easily.