Apple’s free iCloud service may have opened for business in October 2011, but it’s had a long history. It began life as something called iTools, resurfaced as a service called .Mac, popped up again as a $100-a-year entity called MobileMe, and has now become iCloud.
In each case, though, it all stems from Apple’s brainstorm that, since it controls both ends of the connection between a Mac and the Apple Web site, it should be able to create some pretty clever Internet-based features.
This chapter concerns what iCloud can do for you, the iPhone owner.
To get a free iCloud account if you don’t already have one, sign up at www.icloud.com. Then enter your iCloud email address and password in Settings→iCloud.
So what is iCloud? Mainly, it’s these things:
A synchronizing service. It keeps your calendar, address book, and documents updated and identical on all your gadgets: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (pretty much what MobileMe did).
An online locker. Anything you buy from Apple—music, TV shows, ebooks, and apps—is stored online, for easy access at any time. For example, whenever you buy a song or a TV show from the online iTunes Store, it appears automatically on your iPhone and computers. Your photos are stored online, too.
Back to My Mac. This option to grab files from one of your other Macs across the Internet isn’t new, but it survives in iCloud. It lets you access the contents of one Mac from another one across the Internet.
Find My iPhone—and ...