Don't Fear the Cloud


One of the most common questions people ask me is "What is the Cloud, and why do I need it?" Although it can be confusing if you haven't used it and perhaps intrinsically hard to trust, Apple's cloud (aka iCloud) is actually quite simple. The two main benefits of the cloud are Syncing and Storage.

For syncing, iCloud is like a digital storage locker that lives in a very secure part of the internet, and only your devices have access to that information. Whenever your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is logged in to iCloud, it allows information for specific apps installed on those devices (such as Photos, Contacts, Calendar and Notes) to be synced to all of your other devices. For example, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled on your iPhone and laptop and you take a picture on your iPhone, that picture will magically show up on your laptop as soon as it connects to the internet. Super neat!

For storage, iCloud will save and protect the data that it keeps for you. So, referring to the example above, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, your photos are safely kept in the cloud as well as your devices – and even if your phone and laptop were to broken or stolen, the photos would magically appear on your replacement device as soon as you log in to iCloud. Additionally, if you are running out of space on your phone or computer, there are settings that can be enabled that will allow iCloud to store some of your data, freeing up space on the device.

iCloud is a paid subscription service for storage over 5GB, so it will cost most people $1 - $3 per month to get enough space to make the most use of this service.

I hope this helps! I've worked with many of you to get iCloud configured already, but let me know if you'd like to get started if you haven't, or help double-check your settings if you have.