iCloud Overview Updated February 11, 2020

iCloud

The best place for all your photos, files, and more.

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474 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - February 2020


iCloud was launched in 2011 as the successor to MobileMe and is Apple’s current cloud service that allows iOS and Mac users to save and synchronize information. Apple includes 5GB of iCloud storage for free with all accounts and has paid options starting at $0.99/month for 50GB.

iCloud is built into every Apple device. That means all your stuff — photos, files, notes, and more — is safe, up to date, and available wherever you are. And it works automatically, so all you have to do is keep doing what you love. Everyone gets 5GB of free iCloud storage to start, and it’s easy to add more at any time.

What is iCloud?

iCloud solved a problem that we were facing in 2011. Originally, Apple pitched the Mac as the digital hub to our life. Our iPods (and then iPhones) would sync over a cable to transfer information. As we added iPads, it became a mess. Steve demoted the Mac back to just a device and made the “cloud” the center of our digital life. Using the service, users could sync all of their data over the air. As an example, a Keynote document edited on your Mac would automatically be up to date with the latest changes on your iPad or iPhone. iCloud also allowed you to back up your iOS device for an easy path to change devices without having to set everything up manually.

The problem with this original iCloud pitch is it didn’t cover all of our photos. We didn’t get that until iCloud Photos came in iOS 8. It didn’t cover iMessage, as that didn’t come until a few years ago with messages in the cloud. It didn’t cover all of our files, but only those in the iCloud folder stored inside of app folders. We didn’t get seamless syncing of files until Apple added Desktop and Document folder syncing a few years ago.

Over time, Apple has continued to add features to iCloud, and it’s turned out to be a really robust and reliable service. Users can sync files, photos, notes, reminders, and Safari bookmarks to their Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV (photos).

iCloud Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble using iCloud, you may want to make sure it isn’t affected by downtime. Check Apple’s iCloud Status page here.

How much does iCloud cost?

Pricing can change at anytime (view Apple’s latest pricing page), but here are the current rates for a few countries.

United States 50GB: $0.99 200GB: $2.99 2TB: $9.99

Canada  50GB: $1.29 200GB: $3.99 2TB: $12.99

United Kingdom 50GB: £0.79 200GB: £2.49 2TB: £6.99

European Union 50GB: 0.99 € 200GB: 2.99 € 2TB: 9.99 €

Read below for all of our coverage

iCloud Stories February 11

A search warrant issued on behalf of Homeland Security Investigations provides a glimpse into how Apple detects and reports child abuse images uploaded to iCloud or sent via its email servers, while protecting the privacy of innocent customers.

The first stage of detection is automated, using a system common to most tech companies…

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iCloud Stories February 4

PSA: iCloud․com accessible from iOS and Android with support for Photos, Notes, Reminders, more

If you haven’t tried in a while, support for iCloud.com when using a mobile browser like Safari or Chrome on an iPhone, iPad, and Android has improved. Functionality differs a bit between iPhone/Android and iPad but there is access to Photos, Notes, Reminders, Find iPhone, iCloud Drive, Contacts, Mail, and more.

iCloud Stories January 22

Doubt has been cast on the story that Apple gave in to FBI pressure on iCloud backups, and abandoned plans to switch to end-to-end encryption for these.

In particular, it appears that the timing behind the claim may not be right…

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iCloud Stories January 20

iPhone: How to delete iCloud backups

Want to get rid of an old iCloud backup or hit the reset button and start over fresh? Follow along for how to delete iCloud backups on iPhone and iPad.

iCloud Stories January 5

iCloud is a vital aspect of the Apple experience. When you get a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, signing into iCloud is one of the first steps. iCloud is now a crucial part of managing documents, photos, and videos as well. iCloud isn’t perfect, though. Last year, we saw the announcement and delay of iCloud folder sharing. This feature is something Google Drive and Dropbox have had for years. There are still random bugs with contact syncing if the person’s picture is too large. I’ve been thinking about how I want to see iCloud evolve, so I’ve come up with my iCloud 2020 wishlist. expand full story

iCloud Stories December 23, 2019

A 22-year-old Londoner has been convicted of attempting to blackmail Apple out of $100,000 worth of iTunes cards after falsely claiming he had access to 319 million iCloud accounts.

He variously threatened to sell access to the account details, and to reset all the accounts…

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