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How to use iCloud

Tips & tricks

The various ins and outs of iCloud are easy to master with a little time, but there are always tools and tricks available within the software if you read between the lines. Below are few pointers and additional suggestions regarding how to make the most of Apple’s immense cloud storage utility.

Check your storage

Wondering how much of your 5GB of storage is remaining? If using an iOS-compatible device, tap the main Settings menu located on your device’s homescreen to access the main settings panel. Afterward, tap the iCloud option found midway down the menu, followed by the Storage & Backup and Manage Storage options located at the button the resulting menus. Your available iCloud storage will be visible at the bottom of the Manage Storage menu. Mac users can view their available iCloud storage from within the main iCloud services pane accessible via the System Preferences panel, while PC users merely need view the main interface of the iCloud Control Panel.

View iCloud StorageShare your calendar

Sharing  and syncing calendars with your iCloud-enabled devices is handy, but sharing your schedule privately or publicly with others is even handier. If using an iOS-compatible device, tap the Calender app located on your device’s homescreen, followed by the Calendars option located at the bottom to access your various iCloud calenders. Afterward, tap the information icon located to the right of the calendar you wish to share and tap the blue Add Person option beneath the Shared With section to add individuals via their email. Alternatively, toggle on the Public Calendar option at the bottom of the page to allow anyone to subscribe to a read-only version of the calendar.

If using a Mac, open the Calendar app, click the share icon located to the right of the calendar you wish to share and check the box to the left of Public Calender or add individuals in the resulting text field above. The instructions for sharing via the iCloud Web interface are essentially the same as those for Mac, accessible through Calendar tool located on the iCloud homepage.

Share Cal Final iCloudSnag an Apple TV

The Apple TV isn’t just a fantastic way to mirror the screen on your iOS device. The latest firmware update to the company’s sleek, black gizmo allows users to quickly and effortlessly stream content — whether it be shared photo streams, iTunes Match songs or purchases made through the iTunes store — by simply turning on the device and entering the Apple ID tied to the account. It offers a wealth other features, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming, and retails at a modest $99.

Apple TV

Enable encryption

A little encryption can go a long way when it comes to securing your backups. Enabling backup encryption will require users to enter a specified password when restoring from backup, thus preventing others from accessing data without authorization. It’s incredibly easy to implement, but should you forget your designated password, it will also prevent you from recovering your data and require you to perform a full software restore in order to use your device.

To activate encryption, click the checkbox directly to the left of  Encrypt iPhone backup beneath the Backups section when viewing your connected device within iTunes. Afterward, enter and verify a password and click the Set Password button in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window. If desired, uncheck the box to disable the backup encryption.

iCloud Backups

Additional help

“How to use iCloud” is a big phrase. We obviously can’t cover all grounds and answer all questions relating to Apple’s flagship cloud service, but chances are the Apple Support site will shed a more detailed light on any questions you may have. Additionally, free apps such as Guide for iCloud and others can offer you a plethora of tips and tricks on the go. Still, the best way to learn iCloud is with the tried-and-true method of trial and error.

What do you think of quick-hit guide on how to use Apple’s iCloud? Was there something we missed or anything you need further clarification on? Let us know in the comments below.

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