By now you’ve probably heard “cloud”, “cloud computing” or “within the cloud” and thought to yourself “What the heck is a cloud?” In other words, the phrase cloud is used to describe information that is stored not on your own computer but on a remote computer or server connected over the internet. It is the next step in computers – getting your files, photos, music and a lot more supported and available over the Internet, wherever you are whenever you need them. Without needing to physically plug within your device and sync it to the computer. Apple recently launched its version of cloud computing, called i cloud, and while it all may seem confusing in the beginning this article should answer most of the questions you have. How to assess if iCloud is right for you, and what features you would reap the benefits of, is your decision – therefore it should at least be an educated decision.

Let’s cover this by two parts: Part 1, this short article, will take care of iCloud with Apple products. Part 2 covers using Windows with iCloud.

Requirements

One thing to maintain in mind about iCloud, or any cloud-based service: it really is as much an accumulation of features on multiple devices because it is a product. That is certainly, while “iCloud” might sound like just another program to have, it’s more like a process that unites what you have. In order to get this done properly, Apple has produced it with some clear requirements for both software and hardware. For the computer, you should have the newest os that is 10.7, codenamed Lion. Every new Mac you purchase now could have Lion installed, so you’re all set. In the event you aren’t sure if your computer can upgrade, check out your technical requirements for Lion first.

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

iPad: The original iPad as well as the iPad 2 are suitable for iOS 5 with iCloud.

iPhone: iOS 5 will only work on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. The initial iPhone and also the iPhone 3G are not capable of running the brand new os.

apple ipod touch: You will require the 3rd or fourth generation, so anything after September 2009 and you’re fine.

Note: Some music features of iCloud need a CDMA model iPhone 4, and will also work with iOS version 4.3.3.

Features

iCloud’s purpose is always to automatically and securely unite all your content – music, photos, files, apps, etc. Now, if you are at a friend’s house plus they recommend a great song which you download on the iPhone, it is going to automatically download to your iMac in your office, your iPad at home, and your apple ipod touch within your bedroom. The promise of cloud computing was a world without wires, where stuff you do are seamlessly integrated, supported and secure, and available wherever you require them. Most of Apple’s applications have already been updated to work smoothly with iCloud, and Apple provides the facts to outside developers so that they can make their programs work by using it as well. It’s only a matter of time before whatever you do will work with iCloud. There are some big attributes of icloud, so we’ll separate them into categories.

Music

Items you buy through iTunes like songs, albums, apps, TV shows, and books are automatically available across your devices. If you are in a cafe and utilize Shazam to recognize that cool song you hear then decide to purchase it in iTunes, it will likely be open to you on your devices for download, without repurchasing. Items you’ve purchased in the iTunes store can be seen inside your purchase history on any device, even should you didn’t purchase it from that device, and you can download it again for no additional charge.

iTunes has been updated to incorporate iCloud, but additionally there is a new feature called iTunes Match that truly changes things. Your iTunes music library is probably a mix of music you got 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. For those who have songs that aren’t matched, you can upload those to iCloud. As an added bonus, the songs can be purchased at 256 Kbps, a high quality setting – even if your songs were of lower quality. iTunes Match is made right into the latest version of iTunes, but the service costs $24.99 per year and is restricted to 25,000 songs. Songs purchased through iTunes usually do not count toward that limit. In essence, by using iCloud and iTunes Match, you can gain access to all of your music wherever you happen to be.

Photos

You know when you’re in your child’s recital or a sporting event and you have that great picture on the phone that you simply can’t wait to have home and locate that cable you swear was just right there on the kitchen counter and in the end plug your phone in to the computer which means you can import the image? Well Photo Stream, part of iCloud, looks after that. Now the photo you have automatically appears on your personal computer or some other devices, by connecting to Wi-Fi and pushing the photos from the iPhone to the other devices. In case you have an Apple TV, you can even share your photos from iCloud on the big screen of your own HDTV.

Documents

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

Other Highlights

iCloud also synchronizes your contacts, calendars, email (iCloud incorporates a.me email account in the event you don’t curently have one), bookmarks, notes and reminders. So if you bump into an old friend from college and acquire 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 – both you and your friends can use this new app on the iPhone and make use of the GPS to recognize where you are on the map. Great for meeting family gvfikx friends for any picnic or dinner. Also good for keeping track of teenagers who swear they’re just going to the mall. Along those lines, the Find My iPhone app will now work with your Mac as well, if you MacBook Pro is stolen you can locate it simply by logging into icloud.com.

Truth be told, this is only a recap in the major features – you will find much more beneath the surface. Establishing iCloud can be a bit tricky initially, and you need to definitely ensure your hardware is prepared, software is compatible, etc. before switch

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