iCloud Overview Updated May 14, 2020

iCloud

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

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477 'iCloud' stories

May 2011 - May 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 May 14

The FBI has obtained a copy of iCloud data belonging to Senator Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after serving Apple with a warrant compelling it to hand over the data. This likely includes an iCloud backup of Burr’s iPhone.

The FBI used the data in order to obtain a subsequent warrant to seize Burr’s iPhone as part of an investigation into whether the senator broke the law to profit from the coronavirus crisis …

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iCloud Stories May 10

I love iCloud Drive, and I’ve been using it as my primary file storage method for a couple of years at this point. It took off for me once Apple debuted the Files app in iOS 11. Once Apple added the ability to sync the desktop and documents folder in macOS Sierra, I had true files happiness. Even without folder sharing (which is finally available), I had been using iCloud Drive for 99% of my file sync needs. The only thing I am not using is the legacy shared folders I have in Dropbox. My biggest complaint about iCloud Drive is that the deleted file restoration pales in comparison to Dropbox. expand full story

iCloud Stories April 19

I’ve been a customer of 1Password for as long as I can remember. I love being able to have a dedicated application/service for password management, rotating one-time passwords, storing secure information like social security numbers. I know I have a dedicated place to manage all my data in a place I know is safe and easy to access. On the other hand, iCloud Keychain works well and is built-in on all my devices. Is it time for Apple to release a dedicated app for iCloud Keychain, so it’s easier to manage and interact with that data?

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iCloud Stories March 24

iOS 13.4: How to share iCloud Drive folders from iPhone and iPad

Improved collaboration for iCloud Drive arrives with iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4, and macOS Catalina 10.15.4. Follow along for how to share iCloud Drive folders from iPhone and iPad in the latest software releases.

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.

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