iCloud Overview Updated July 15, 2019

iCloud

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

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460 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - July 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 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.

iCloud Stories June 16

Back when Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud in 2011, we were pitched a vision of data being available everywhere. Jobs pitched demoting the Mac and moving the digital hub into the cloud. All of our devices had connectivity built-in, so data should be available everywhere. The problem was 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. 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. expand full story

iCloud Stories June 11

iOS 13: How to share iCloud Drive folders from iPhone and iPad

Improved collaboration with iCloud Drive is arriving with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina. Follow along for how to share iCloud Drive folders from iPhone and iPad in the newest software releases.

In a post on the Windows blog, Apple and Microsoft today announced the availability of a new iCloud for Windows application. The new application is available in the Microsoft Store and allows users to access iCloud features such as iCloud Drive, Photos, and more.

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iCloud Stories June 2

A major Google Cloud outage this afternoon has brought down numerous websites and services, including many of Google’s own products and platforms like Snapchat and Discord. Apple is also affected by the outage, according to its System Status webpage.

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