There was a time when the “cloud” seemed like merely a bona fide pipe dream, an unattainable computing concept looming in the future skies. The much-sought computing method would allow users to save, sync, and access a wealth of information and multimedia via a remote grid of networked computers, no matter your location or device. It was a Jetsons-esque concept to me as a boy, but the colloquial expression and everything it embodies is very real in today’s world of smartphones and supercomputers — and anyone submerged in the Apple ecosystem can readily access it at no extra charge. So tell me, why wouldn’t you want to use it given the chance?
The Apple-dubbed “iCloud” is the latest incarnation of the Cupertino-based company’s cloud storage and computing system. It’s had many names over the years — iTools, .Mac, MobileMe — but none of them were quite as self-explanatory as the one the late Steve Jobs announced at the 2011 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference. It’s not an application, but rather an application suite, directly baked into the framework of nearly all Apple products and curated to help manage your content on any device with which it’s associated. Once properly setup, tasks like accessing your entire iTunes library and photo catalog can be carried out with the simple toggle of a switch. Other actions, such as calendar and contact list edits, will automatically update across all devices.
Despite its rudimentary design and simple execution though, setting up and navigating the swath of apps can prove difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing or are newcomer to Apple’s world.
Here’s our comprehensive guide, from setup to syncing, to using iCloud. Sure, we have our qualms and quibbles regarding the software and its merits, but being able to edit your calendar across all devices and locate your phone after those rollicking, punch-drunk nights at the bar is well worth the price of setting it up and syncing.