iCloud Overview Updated May 20, 2022


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536 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - May 2022

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 Yesterday

iCloud Photos is a fantastic feature for syncing large photo and video libraries across all your devices. Have a 300GB photo library? With an iCloud subscription and Optimize Storage, you don’t need a 512GB or 1TB iPhone to take your media with you. Still, iCloud Photos backups shouldn’t be ignored.

Keeping a local backup of your photo library is mighty important. iCloud Photos can feel like a backup. It’s really just your photo library in a single place — even if you don’t use Optimize Storage. iCloud Photos really doesn’t encourage methods of keeping separate, offline copies of photos and videos.

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iCloud Stories May 7

Introduced in 2014, iCloud Documents and Data was a system that automatically synchronized data from different apps and made them available across a wide array of devices. Now, Apple has announced that this service was discontinued and it’s now part of iCloud Drive.

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iCloud Stories April 27

As part of its new iCloud+ subscription service unveiled at WWDC 2021, Apple launched iCloud Private Relay. This feature is designed to give users an additional layer of privacy and security by sending requests through two separate internet relays to mask user information.

The feature is currently available to iCloud+ subscribers as an opt-in “beta” feature, but a new report suggests that may change with iOS 16 this year…

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iCloud Stories April 19

An iCloud crypto wallet attack saw an estimated $650,000 worth of cryptocurrency and NFTs stolen from a trader within seconds.

While the attack relied on a sophisticated piece of phishing, it also revealed a key iCloud vulnerability with MetaMask …

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iCloud Stories March 24

An iCloud class action lawsuit has been settled out of court, with Apple agreeing to pay a total of $14.8M to US residents subscribing to one of the paid storage tiers during a specific time period.

The payout was agreed upon after it was alleged that Apple breached the service terms and conditions by storing user data on non-Apple servers …

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iCloud Stories March 16

My girlfriend and I make extensive use of shared iCloud calendars. We have one for joint events, and we each share our own calendars so that we both have a complete picture of our schedules. That enables either one of us to arrange things like dinner with friends, knowing that it won’t clash with anything else.

But (semi-) vacationing with friends, we’ve also found a shared group calendar is the perfect way to coordinate activities …

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iCloud Stories March 2

With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey 12 last year, Apple added a new iCloud Private Relay feature that helps protect your internet privacy. The feature works by sending all of your internet requests through two separate and secure internet relays, including one operated by Apple and one operated by a third-party.

The web infrastructure company Cloudflare is one of those partners with which Apple is working, and it has published a new blog post detailing its role in the iCloud Private Relay process.

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iCloud Stories February 24

Users have been experiencing difficulties when trying to access some Apple services on Thursday evening. Multiple reports indicate that iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, and others are partially or completely down around the world.

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iCloud Stories February 12

For the past few weeks, some users have been complaining about a “New iCloud Terms & Condition” bug that needs you to accept iCloud’s terms and conditions over and over again.

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iCloud Stories January 26

Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported on major issues with iCloud syncing and CloudKit that have been plaguing third-party applications. Now, some affected developers say that they have heard from Apple that the issues have been fixed, with some additional details on what happened to initially cause the problems.

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Update: Apple said it had fixed the problems with iCloud, but now the company states that they’re back. Not only that, but Game Center is also having issues this Wednesday.

If you’re experiencing problems when trying to access some iCloud services, you’re not alone. iCloud Backup, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Photos are currently down for some users.

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The Apple system status page is best known not for displaying the actual status of Apple services, but rather a pageful of green indicators that only change once a problem is so widespread and severe that the company can no longer hide it.

I mean, I get it. There will always be minor and temporary glitches affecting a tiny number of people, and it’s not realistic for Apple to update the page to reflect each one of these. But I think there’s no denying the fact that the page currently has its own reality distortion field …

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iCloud Stories January 24

Over the last several months, an issue with iCloud has emerged that is impacting many popular third-party applications that rely on Apple’s cloud infrastructure for syncing and other tasks. Apple has not yet publicly acknowledged the problem, but some developers have reportedly been privately contacted by the company to confirm that it’s an iCloud server problem impacting their apps rather than an issue with the app itself.

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iCloud Stories January 12

Following multiple reports that iCloud Private Relay stopped working with some carriers, Apple is making it clearer to users what can be done when Private Relay is not working due to a network error. With iOS 15.3, users will see a disclaimer telling them the possible reasons why the feature is disabled and how they can fix it.

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Some iPhone users this week noticed that iCloud Private Relay suddenly stopped working with their cellular connections. While T-Mobile first suggested that the affected devices were running iOS 15.2, Apple on Wednesday claimed that no changes were made to Private Relay in iOS 15.2.

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iCloud Stories January 10

Some Apple services are experiencing issues – the company has acknowledged that iCloud and Photos are slow or currently unavailable.

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Earlier today, a report indicated that some European carriers were blocking the Private Relay feature introduced by Apple with iOS 15. This feature is designed to give users an additional layer of privacy by ensuring that no one can view the websites that they visit.

Now, in addition to some carriers in Europe, it appears that T-Mobile/Sprint in the United States is also blocking iCloud Private Relay access when connected to cellular data.

Update: In a statement to 9to5Mac, a T-Mobile spokesperson said:

Customers who chose plans and features with content filtering (e.g. parent controls) do not have access to the iCloud Private Relay to allow these services to work as designed. All other customers have no restrictions.

However, many of the users we’ve heard from, and tested ourselves, do not have any such content filtering enabled. We’ve followed up with T-Mobile for additional clarification, but have not yet heard back.

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iCloud Stories December 14, 2021

Apple has patched the Log4Shell iCloud vulnerability, after it was last week revealed that a security hole in the open-source tool log4j put millions of apps at risk.

Cybersecurity experts described the vulnerability as “setting the internet on fire,” and “the most critical security vulnerability in a decade” …

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iCloud Stories November 13, 2021

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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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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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