Do you know what cloud computing is? Studies show that nearly 25% of people do, and it’s becoming more involved with our lives each and every day. Some people say it’s the future of computing. iCloud is one of the highlights of iOS 5, it’s even on the new iPhone 4S box. Apple has spoken a lot about it, but did they overhype it? Some may think so, but I find iCloud to be extremely useful, and so do the millions of people using the service regularly.
So… What Is iCloud? How Does iCloud Work?
iCloud is a cloud computing service. This means that you can store files “in the cloud”, which is basically a server that you can access from any device at any time, wirelessly. Users are allowed to have up to 5 gigabytes of storage for free, and additional storage can be purchased for $2 per gigabyte, per year. Apple has spent a lot of money investing in this new service, which they are currently supporting for around 200 million iOS devices. iCloud keeps all of your devices synced together automatically. These devices include iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.
Setting Up iCloud
The common phrase from Apple “It just works” was mentioned numerous times in the iOS 5 keynote. Once you get it set up, sure, it won’t require any monitoring, it will work automatically. But setting it up isn’t as easy as Apple makes it out to be. You can sign up for it, for free, simply by entering in your Apple ID on your device. However, after you do so, you have a lot of settings you have to choose, a lot of configuration to be done. You will have to type in your password numerous times.
What Kind Of Files Can Be Stored In iCloud?
iCloud integration is built into a lot of Apple’s own applications, including Camera, Photos, iBooks, Pages, Keynote, Calendar, Contacts, and more. If you own multiple iOS devices, iCloud can be extremely convenient. If you take a picture on your iPhone, you can have it automatically sent to your Mac. If you start reading a book on your iPad, you can start right where you left off on your iPhone.
It’s also great for writing documents, with the Pages app. Perhaps you get an idea for something to write while traveling, but you aren’t anywhere near your computer. Start writing it on your iPhone or iPad, and finish writing it on your computer when you get to it. The document will be saved to iCloud and can be retrieved on your computer.
It works great with iTunes as well. If you purchase a song on your computer, it’ll automatically start downloading to your iOS devices, wirelessly.
iCloud is a free cloud based service, that can be used on any iOS Device running iOS 5 or later. It’s extremely convenient, and I don’t see any reasons why you shouldn’t use it. Got any questions about iCloud? Feel free to post them here in the form of a comment or visit us on our forums, and i’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.