iCloud, the cloud syncing service that automatically syncs all your content to all of your devices, be it an iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, PC, iPad, whatever. It also includes things like Find My iPhone and Find My Mac, in addition to several web apps that let you get your Mail, Contacts, and Calendar while on the go, via any web browser. It’s an awesome service, it’s free, and you don’t want to miss it. Here’s how to set it up from any iPhone, iPad, or Mac:
First things first, you’ll need the latest versions of iOS and/or Mac OS X.
- An Apple ID – same as an iTunes account or MobileMe login
- iOS 5 update or later – for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Mac OS X 10.7.2 updated or later – for Mac users
- iTunes 10.5 or later installed – required for PC & Mac users
Have those installed and ready to go? Here’s how to set up a free iCloud account:
Setup iCloud from an iPhone or iPad with iOS 5+
- Tap on the Settings app
- Tap on “iCloud”
- Choose “Sign in with an Apple ID” (alternately, you can create a new account entirely by selecting “Create a free Apple ID”)
- Enter your existing Apple ID (iTunes account), or an older MobileMe account
- Choose “Use iCloud” at the setup screen
- Tap the “ON” switch for the types of data and services you want to sync with iCloud: Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Photo Stream, etc
By default you get 5GB for free, but the iCloud plan prices are reasonably cheap if you require more storage.
Setup iCloud from Mac OS X
Obviously you’ll need your Mac updated to OS X 10.7.2 or later, get it from Software Update or download it here if you haven’t yet. OS X Mountain Lion includes even further iCloud integration.
- Open “System Preferences” from the Apple menu
- Select “iCloud” under the ‘Networking’ section
- Enter an Apple ID which is the same as an iTunes account, MobileMe login, or create a new Apple ID if you don’t have one yet
- Accept the EULA and choose which apps and items you want to sync with iCloud
You can change iCloud settings at any point by going back to this preference panel.
Once you have configured iCloud, you can also visit iCloud.com to use the webapps, accessing Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone and Find My Mac, and iWork online. Just login with your aforementioned iCloud/Apple ID and you’ll be good to go.