iCloud Overview Updated November 13, 2021


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518 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - November 2021

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 November 13

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When Apple announced all the new features coming to macOS and iOS at WWDC back in June, one of the new announcements was iCloud+, which encompasses all paid iCloud plans. One aspect of iCloud+ is iCloud Private Relay. Since it changes the network path route, enterprises using Apple need to consider it in their device management. So let’s dive into what impact it’s likely to make.

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iCloud Stories November 10

Apple on Wednesday released an update to the iCloud Utility for Windows, which lets PC users have some of the features of Apple’s cloud service. With the latest version of iCloud for Windows, the company has added a built-in password generator, support for ProRAW and ProRes codecs, and more.

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iCloud Stories November 9

Following the release of iOS 15.2 beta 2 to developers on Tuesday, Apple confirmed that the update enables child communication safety features in iMessage. However, the update also adds the “Hide My Email” option directly in the Mail app for iCloud+ subscribers.

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iCloud Stories November 3

According to Apple’s System Status webpage, the iCloud Private Relay service is currently down. This means that users who have iCloud Private Relay enabled on their devices could face issues loading webpages and more on their iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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iCloud Stories October 21

iOS 15 lets you set new iCloud recovery options, here’s how

Apple is making it easier to recover iCloud data in the event of forgotten passwords or device passcodes with iOS 15. There are two options. Let’s look at how iCloud Data Recovery Service works with iCloud Recovery Contacts and the iCloud Recovery Key.

iCloud Stories October 14

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month announced that WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups were on the way for those who like to store backups on cloud services like iCloud and Google Drive. That privacy feature is now “slowly” rolling out for both iOS and Android users.

Actual WhatsApp chats are always end-to-end encrypted, but this new feature means that any backups you choose to make get the same level of protection …

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iCloud Stories October 12

The password manager gurus at 1Password are launching a new password sharing feature that adds security to a common practice. Password Secure Sharing Tool, or Psst! for short, lets you share specific passwords with a simple link. The recipient of your password doesn’t even need to be a 1Password user.

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iCloud Stories September 28

The Italian antitrust regulator has found that Apple’s iCloud terms and conditions are unreasonable and unfair to consumers, and may breach consumer protection laws. It’s the latest in a long line of antitrust investigations and lawsuits faced by the Cupertino company.

An investigation and public consultation was carried out following complaints, and a number of Apple’s terms were considered unlawful.

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One of the key features of iOS 15 is iCloud+ and the ability to use Hide My Email function. Now, password-management platform 1Password is launching a similar feature to all of its users.

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iCloud Stories September 20

Redesigned iCloud Mail web app now available for everyone

Earlier this year, Apple quietly released a new version of its iCloud Mail web app with a redesigned interface that was accessible via the iCloud Beta website. Following the release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on Monday, Apple has now made the new iCloud Mail web app available to everyone.

iCloud Stories September 10

The long-running saga of the Apple Irish data center appeared to be over in 2018, when the Cupertino company announced that it had abandoned its plans.

“Several years ago we applied to build a data center at Athenry. Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre,” said the company in a statement.

However, the project appears to have been revived. Apple successfully applied for an extension to its planning permission, and stated in its application that it expects to build the center within the next five years…

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iCloud Stories September 7

When Apple announced iCloud+ at WWDC 2021, it revealed that paid iCloud tiers would receive additional perks such as support for Private Relay, and Hide My Email. Another perk included with iCloud+ is the ability to set up an iCloud Mail custom email domain.

The new custom email feature, which is currently in beta, has been something that iCloud Mail users like myself have been wanting for years. In this hands-on walkthrough, I show you how to set it up.

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iCloud Stories August 29

One of the most important features Apple introduced during the WWDC21 keynote in June was iCloud+ with iCloud Private Relay, which is an extra layer of security that protects users’ privacy while browsing the web. Now, according to a Reddit user, this feature is leaking your original address through WebRTC.

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iCloud Stories August 25

One of the new features of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey is iCloud Private Relay, which is basically an extra layer of security that protects users’ privacy while browsing the web. Although Private Relay has been available since June with the beta versions of Apple’s operating systems, the company is now considering it a “beta” feature, which means that it will no longer come enabled by default.

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One of the features Apple announced during the WWDC21 keynote with iCloud+ was the ability to customize email domains. After two months, you can now do that on iCloud’s beta site.

As spotted by Applesfera, iCloud subscribers just have to enter beta.icloud.com to create a custom domain. Head below for the details.

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iCloud Stories August 24

A California man has pled guilty to four felonies after breaking into “thousands of iCloud accounts” in an attempt to steal and share nude images of women, according to a new report from the Los Angeles Times. The man admitted to impersonating Apple customer support representatives, tricking them into providing him with their Apple ID login information.

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iCloud Stories August 20

Update: A likely explanation for this comment has now emerged.

An explanation for Apple’s controversial decision to begin scanning iPhones for CSAM has been found in a 2020 statement by Apple’s anti-fraud chief.

Eric Friedman stated, in so many words, that “we are the greatest platform for distributing child porn.” The revelation does, however, raise the question: How could Apple have known this if it wasn’t scanning iCloud accounts… ?

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iCloud Stories August 16

Apple is today updating its iCloud app for Windows users, finally bringing a new password manager app. Learn everything new about version 12.5.

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iCloud Stories August 5

A report this morning said that Apple is set to announce that it will begin scanning for child abuse images on iPhones. Update: Apple later confirmed the report.

The method Apple is expected to use is one that maximizes privacy, but we noted earlier that there are still a number of ways in which this could go badly wrong …

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iCloud Stories July 26

iCloud has another case of the Mondays: Mail, Calendar, Photos, more facing downtime [U: Fixed]

iCloud is seeing downtime for eight services this morning including iCloud Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Photos, Find My, and more.

iCloud Stories July 24

DuckDuckGo announced earlier this week that the app is launching its new Email Protection feature into beta. This function will protect email privacy without switching email services.

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iCloud Stories July 8

One of the new features announced at WWDC 2021 with iOS 15 and macOS Monterey is iCloud Private Relay, which basically functions as an extra layer of security that ensures users’ privacy while browsing the web. Meanwhile, advertising companies are concerned about how Private Relay could put an end to fingerprinting.

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iCloud Stories July 7

Well-intentioned child abuse law likely breaks European privacy law

A well-intentioned law to allow digital platforms to detect and report child abuse is likely to itself break European privacy law …

iCloud Stories June 21

iCloud Calendar spam has been a problem for many users since 2016 and earlier, and Apple has made a handful of changes and improvements to remedy the situation. Despite Apple’s best efforts, however, the problem continues to affect iCloud users, and it’s once again receiving widespread attention.

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