What is iCloud and How Does It Help Me? – Part Two

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In part one of this article, we discussed what iCloud is and how to set it up on your device. We will now discuss the types of information synced through iCloud.

By opening the Settings app on your iOS device and selecting iCloud, you can choose the information you want to sync. For iCloud to function properly, the device must be connected to the Internet by Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection.


Types of Information Synced With iCloud


iCloud Options


iCloud Drive

Enabling this feature allows you to store documents in iCloud so they are accessible to all your devices.



The iCloud Photo Library feature will store all your photos in iCloud and sync the photos to all your devices. If you decide not to use the iCloud Photo Library, you can enable Photo Stream so your recent photos are available on all your devices.



Setting the Mail option to the ON position will deliver your iCloud.com emails to all devices connected to your iCloud account.

You need to have an iCloud.com email address for this to work properly. If you don’t have an iCloud.com address, it can be obtained for free, right from your device. The first time the Mail option is set to the ON position, the system will recognize no iCloud.com email address exists. You will be asked if you want to create an iCloud email account. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to setup the email account. The email will have the format username@iCloud.com.

Only iCloud.com emails are managed by iCloud. Any other email addresses you have will not be automatically delivered to all your devices. The email accounts will need to be manually setup on each device.


Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders

Enabling these options allows your Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders to be synced to all your devices. If you update something on one device, it is automatically updated on all your other devices.



Setting the Safari option to ON will sync bookmarks, tabs, and web history across all devices.



Enabling this option allows you to share notes on all your devices. Changes to existing notes or any new notes created on one device are automatically available on all other devices.



This setting allows the built-in News app to sync information about your news preferences to your other devices.



Wallet keeps your airline boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards all in one place. The coupon can be redeemed by scanning the iPhone or iPod touch at the point of use. The merchant must create a Wallet-enabled pass or iOS app for the service to work with Wallet. The Wallet app is only available on the iPhone and iPod touch.



Selecting this item provides access to the iCloud Backup options. Enabling the Backup function will automatically backup the data from your device to iCloud. The data backed up to iCloud includes photos, device settings, app data, messages, ringtones, and visual voicemails.



This setting allows you to securely sync passwords and credit card information between your devices.


Find My iPhone

This service allows you to locate a device if it gets lost. Enable Find My iPhone on each device. You can not locate a device if this option isn’t set to the ON position. When a device is missing, you can use the Find My iPhone app on any iOS device to locate the missing device. Additionally, you can log on to the iCloud website from any computer to use the Find My iPhone service. For more detailed information, please see my article “Use Find My iPhone to Locate Misplaced Devices“.


Hopefully this brief summary will help you understand iCloud and its benefits.

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