iCloud Overview Updated August 22, 2019

iCloud

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

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464 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - August 2019


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 August 22

Apple this week has launched a new beta version of iCloud on the web with the overhauled Reminders app, a new launch screen, and more. The change was first pointed out by Federico Viticci on Twitter.

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iCloud Stories August 19

How to report and remove iCloud calendar spam

Are you seeing junk calendar notifications or events pop up on your iCloud calendar on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac? Read on for how to report and remove iCloud calendar spam.

iCloud Stories August 13

How to download and install iCloud for Windows

Do you have a Windows laptop or desktop that you’d like to sync up with iCloud? Read along for how to get access to iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, iCloud Drive, and Safari bookmarks on your Windows machine.

iCloud Stories July 19

Apple is facing a new security threat, thanks to developments in the spyware/surveillance tool sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group. Via the Financial Times, the Pegasus phone software now not only harvests data from the user’s onboard storage, but also all communications with the connected cloud.

The vulnerability purportedly affects the iPhone and Apple’s iCloud as well as Google Android phones, and even third-party apps installed on the phone that communicate over “encrypted and secure” connections.

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iCloud Stories July 15

Microsoft has found Office 365 banned from use in at least some German schools due to privacy concerns over the way its cloud service works.

Privacy regulators have also ruled out the use of either Google Docs or Apple’s iWork suite for the same reason …

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iCloud Stories July 4

Almost all iCloud services down for some users including Photos, Mail, Backup, Find My Friends, Contacts, Calendars, more [U]

Apple is experiencing issues with most of its iCloud services today. Users are having trouble signing into iCloud and accessing their accounts, along with Photos, Mail, Backup, Find My Friends, Contacts, Calendars, and more seeing downtime. Apple Stores are also reportedly affected by the outage and not currently able to process transactions.

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