By now you may have heard “cloud”, “cloud computing” or “within the cloud” and thought to yourself “Just what the heck is a cloud?” Simply put, the word cloud is used to explain information that is stored not on your own pc but on a remote computer or server connected via the Internet. This is the next step in computers – having your files, photos, music and more backed up and available over the Internet, wherever you’re whenever you need them. Without having to physically plug inside your device and sync it to the computer. Apple has launched its version of cloud computing, called, and while it all may seem confusing at first this article should answer many of your questions. The best way to decide if iCloud is right for you, and what features you would take advantage of, is your decision – so it should at least be an educated decision.

Let’s cover this in 2 parts: Part 1, this article, covers iCloud with all of Apple products. Part 2 covers using Windows with iCloud.


Something to help keep in mind about iCloud, or any cloud-based service: it is just as much a collection of features on multiple devices as it is a product. That is, while “iCloud” might sound like just another program to have, it’s more like a system that unites what you currently have. In order to achieve this properly, Apple has built it with a few clear requirements for both software and hardware. For your computer, you need to have the latest operating system that is 10.7, codenamed Lion. Every new Mac you purchase now will have Lion installed, so you’re all set. Should you aren’t certain that your computer can upgrade, check the technical requirements for Lion first.

For your portable devices like iPad, iPhone or ipod itouch there are a few hardware as well as software restrictions. iCloud works primarily with iOS 5, the latest operating-system for Apple devices.

iPad: Both original iPad and the apple ipad 2 are suitable for iOS 5 and with iCloud.

iPhone: iOS 5 is only going to work on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. The first iPhone and the iPhone 3G are certainly not capable of running the new operating system.

apple ipod touch: You will need the third or fourth generation, so anything after September 2009 and you’re fine.

Note: Some music highlights of iCloud need a CDMA model iPhone 4, as well as work with iOS version 4.3.3.


iCloud’s purpose is to automatically and securely unite all your content – music, photos, files, apps, etc. Now, in case you are at a friend’s house and they recommend a fantastic song that you download on your own iPhone, it will automatically download for your iMac at your office, your iPad at home, along with your ipod itouch in your bedroom. The commitment of cloud computing was a world without wires, where stuff you do are seamlessly integrated, backed up and secure, and available wherever you need them. Almost all of Apple’s applications have been updated to work smoothly with iCloud, and Apple has provided the specifics to outside developers so that they can make their programs work along with it as well. It’s only a matter of time before anything you do will work with iCloud. There are several big attributes of, so we’ll separate them into categories.


Items you buy through iTunes such as songs, albums, apps, TV shows, and books are automatically available across your devices. In case you are in a coffee shop and use Shazam to identify that cool song you hear then decide to purchase it in iTunes, it will probably be open to you on all your devices for download, without repurchasing. Items you’ve purchased in the iTunes store can be observed inside your purchase history on any device, even should you didn’t buy it from that device, and you also can download it again for no additional charge.

iTunes has been updated to include iCloud, but additionally there is a new feature called iTunes Match that really changes things. Your iTunes music library is most likely a mix of music you purchased from iTunes, imported from a CD, or shall we just say “other.” With iTunes Match, you can have iTunes compare your library up to the more than 20 million songs in iTunes and any songs that match are included in your iCloud account. If you have songs that aren’t matched, you can upload those to iCloud. As an extra, the songs are available at 256 Kbps, a high quality setting – even should your songs were of lower quality. iTunes Match is made right into the most recent version of iTunes, but the service costs $24.99 per year and it is confined to 25,000 songs. Songs purchased through iTunes usually do not count toward to limit. Basically, by using iCloud and iTunes Match, you can gain access to all your music wherever you might be.


You know when you’re at the child’s recital or perhaps a sporting event and also you get that great picture on your own phone that you can’t wait to obtain home and locate that cable you swear was just right there on the kitchen counter and ultimately plug your phone to the computer so you can import the photo? Well Photo Stream, part of iCloud, takes care of that. Now the photo you are taking automatically appears on your computer or other devices, by connecting to Wi-Fi and pushing the photos from your iPhone towards the other devices. For those who have an Apple TV, you can even share your photos from iCloud on the big screen of your HDTV.


For business owners, professionals, students, etc. what could be a lot better than having your documents together with you all the time? Imagine when you have to create a presentation from town, you produce a presentation at the office, finalize it with the boss and head for your airport. While you’re in flight, the customer calls the workplace wanting changes. Your co-worker make the changes and does the rest. Whenever you land and turn your phone back on, the updated document appears on your iPad. You make the presentation, land your client, get promoted, get yourself a huge bonus, buy a new house, run for President…okay, maybe not all of that. But consider the time (so that as we know, time equals money) that might be saved no being forced to recreate those changes repeatedly. Currently, Apple’s iWork apps like Pages, Keynote, and Numbers all work seamlessly and you can even use Microsoft Office documents by logging into your account.

Other Highlights

iCloud also synchronizes your contacts, calendars, email (iCloud includes email account if you don’t have one), bookmarks, notes and reminders. So if you bump into an older friend from college and get his telephone number & address and create a lunch date for next week, it’s all seamlessly synced across your devices. Another new feature is Find My Buddies – you and your friends can use this new app on the iPhone and make use of the GPS to distinguish where you are on the map. Ideal for meeting family gvfikx friends to get a picnic or dinner. Also beneficial to monitoring teenagers who swear they’re just going to the mall. Along those lines, the Find My iPhone app can work with your Mac as well, if you MacBook Pro is stolen you can locate it just by logging into

Truth be told, this is just a recap from the major features – you can find much more underneath the surface. Establishing iCloud can be considered a bit tricky in the beginning, and you should definitely make sure all your hardware is ready, software program is compatible, etc. before switch

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