APPLE 'iCLOUD' - PERTINENT QUESTIONS
What is iCloud?
is Apple's online service, introduced in 2011. Pitched in part as a
replacement for the now-defunct MobileMe, it's
designed to sync your contacts, calendars, bookmarks, photos, and iWork
documents between devices. It also allows downloading of music
purchased from the iTunes Store - in the future or the past - to other
devices. (Online storage and downloading of material you've added
yourself, for example
by ripping CDs, is provided at a charge.)
These facilities are free to users of OSX 10.7.5 'Lion
above, and iOS5
mobile devices, and these systems are the minimum requirement to set up
or transition to an iCloud account. Most facilities are not available
to earlier systems, though Mail can be accessed from any email client
provided an iCloud has been set up in the first place. There is
currently no indication the other facilities will in future be
available on Snow Leopard - see below
It would appear that Support
is available only to people with 'AppleCare
- which is free for 90 days after purchasing hardware, or has to be
paid for to extend it. You might want to consider whether you should
entrust your email to a service which has no support contact should
there be problems (though the same probably applies to the other free
was announced in June 2011, MobileMe was terminated on 1 July 2012. If
you had a MobileMe subscription, and did not migrate your email,
contacts and calendars to iCloud and your iDisk contents and Gallery to
your computer or another hosting service, then you can no longer do so
and the contents of your account have been deleted.
My Apple ID for iTunes and my iCloud login are
If you haven't migrated your account you can treat it as expired and
sign in to System Preferences>iCloud with it to open an iCloud
account and reactivate the address (but not recover the emails
previously stored on it). However if you had both @mac.com and @me.com
versions of the address you can only reactivate the @me.com version
(it's not clear yet whether this is still possible now that new iCloud
addresses are @icloud.com):
the @mac.com one is no longer viable.
Many people are in this situation
because they opened an Apple ID to use with iTunes, the Discussion
Forums or hardware registration, and then joined MobileMe or iCloud at
date - the @me.com email address is an Apple ID itself.
You can't merge these two IDs. As you have a different ID for iTunes
you should continue to use that
for iTunes, iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match. There is no problem
about using two different IDs in this way; and indeed I think it's
preferable, given the number of complaints about hacked accounts on
iTunes, not to have your iTunes login the same as your publicly
available email address.
iCloud, iTunes in the Cloud, and iTunes Match
It may be helpful to clarify the
differences between iCloud, iTunes in the Cloud, and iTunes Match,
because re-downloading your songs and movies doesn't actually have
anything to do with iCloud - Apple persist in using the name for both
and it's confusing a lot of people.
iCloud is your own account
which enables syncing of calendar and contacts data, transger of iWork
and TextEdit documents between your devices, transfer of photos taken
on one device onto all the others, an email service, and the ability to
find a lost device which has been set up correctly. It does not provide
general file storage, and it does not store your movies or music. It's
free at basic level of 5GB for the items mentioned above with extra
iTunes in the Cloud does not
store anything except in the iTunes Store. It simply recognizes that
you have previously purchased an item and allows you to re-download it
on other devices, or, as you say, re-download it onto the original
device if you've deleted it. No extra storage is required because the
items are already in the Store. Complicated rights issues means that
not all items are available this way, and that different countries have
different availablilities. Also if an item is withdrawn from the Store
you won't be able to re-download it even if you already purchased it.
iTunes Match applies to music
(not films) in your collection which you did not purchased from the
iTunes Store, but downloaded from elsewhere or ripped from your CDs. If
the item exists in the Store it allows you to download a version from
there; if not you can upload it to space allocated for you. This
facility costs $24.99/£21.99 per year, limit 25,000 songs
(purchases do not count towards this limit). This is not part of the
iCloud 5GB free storage.
iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match require an iTunes account; they do not require an iCloud account.
Can I use
iCloud with Snow Leopard?
Officially, no: Lion 10.7.5 is
required. If you have already opened an iCloud account on a Lion Mac or
an iOS5 device you can set Mail up
manually to access email on Snow
Leopard or Leopard
, or on Tiger
you can't open a new account on older systems than Lion or OS5.
lists the situation when
trying to use iCloud in Snow Leopard in more detail, including a few
workarounds and some third-party software which may be of interest.
There are more Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers) here
The table below lists iCloud's facilities. OSX 10.7.5 and
iOS5 are the minimum requirement.
@icloud.com address is provided, together with up to 3 'aliases'
(additional addresses). (People
who already have @me.com and @mac.com address will retain them but new
ones cannot be created.) Webmail is provided. Mail storage counts
your free 5GB space
(upgradeable, see bottom of table). Note that automatic
spam filtering is applied, which it is admitted may cause
occasional false positives and consequent silent deletion.
|CHECKING, AND SENDING USING,
|This facility is not available.
|Contacts are automatically
synced to your other devices.
|iCal Calendars sync to
iCloud and from there to other devices. Pre-Lion Macs cannot sync
with it: an unofficial method of syncing Snow Leopard's iCal
has been published: use at your own risk.
|The new iPhoto for iOS5
includes the facility to publish a 'Photo Journal' picture gallery to web pages hosted
on iCloud. This facility is not available on Macs. Apple have provided
a sample album here.
|A conduit for syncing photos to
your other devices: all photos on Macs, last 1,000 on iOS devices.
Photos held in the cloud for maximum 30 days, and not available to
other people. Does not count towards your free 5GB space. Shared Photo Streams
enable you to share selected photos with other iCloud users (Mountain
Lion 10.8.2 or iOS6, and iPhoto 9.4 or Aperture 3.4 required).
|GENERAL FILE STORAGE AND FILE
| iCloud does not provide
general file storage or sharing in the manner of the MobileMe iDisk
(now terminated). See here for alternatives.
|Backup of Apps, books, music,
photos, settings, SMS & MMS messages and ringtones from your iOS
devices (not backup from your Mac). Counts towards your free 5GB space
(upgradeable, see bottom of table).
|FIND MY iPHONE
|Is available in iCloud.
|FIND MY FRIENDS
|Is available in iCloud, enables
you to allow friends
to see where you are (temporarily if required) and vice versa (with
|iCloud does not provide
website hosting. See here for alternatives.
|'DOCUMENTS IN THE CLOUD'
|Syncing of iWork documents
between your devices; future third-party programs may include this
facility. Counts towards your free 5GB space (upgradeable, see bottom
|New and past purchases available
for download to all your devices. Does not count towards your free 5GB
|Music in iTunes not purchased in
the Store can be uploaded to be available to all devices. $24.99/£21.99
year, limit 25,000 songs (purchases do not count towards this limit).
This is not part of the 5GB free storage.
|Purchased iBooks from the
Bookstore made available to all your devices. Does not count towards
|Purchased iOS apps made
available to all your iOS devices. Does not count towards your free 5GB
|Safari Bookmarks syncing is
provided in iCloud: bookmarks are not viewable on the iCloud
|OTHER DATA SYNCING
Mountain Lion, Mail Rules, signatures, flag names and Smart Mailboxes
are synced if you have 'Documents and Data' syncing enabled. Syncing of
Widgets, Dock Items, Keychains, and Address Book sharing all ceased
with the termination of
MobileMe and are not available
|BACK TO MY MAC
connection to 'AirDisks' has been made available in an update.
MobileMe, there is no
requirement for a Family Pack in iCloud as basic accounts are free.
for OSX 'Lion' and above and iOS5,
including downloading of purchased iTunes songs, and 5GB space for
Backup, Mail, Photo Journal and Documents.
personally added iTunes songs at $24.99 p.a.
Additional storage for
Backup, Documents etc: additional 10GB, $20 p.a., 20 GB, $40 p.a., 50GB
p.a. (note that this is not
iDisk-type storage for any type of file).
Here are some
useful links to Apple iCloud Help
note gives advice on moving an iWeb site to another hoster (without
mentioning that the program has been 'end-of-life'd and can no longer
And a useful page from MacWorld about the two ways of syncing iOS
(Note that since this was written Mavericks has been released, in which syncing using iTunes has been disabled.)
Roger Wilmut. This site is not associated with Apple.