Take Control of iCloud, Fifth Edition

Take Control of iCloud, Fifth Edition

By Joe Kissell

  • Release Date: 2016-10-18
  • Genre: Computers
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iCloud is a simple idea -- all your data on all your devices, via the cloud -- that becomes complex in the real world when you want it to work seamlessly so you can spend your time enjoying your media or doing actual work, instead of just fiddling with your computer.

Whether you want to get a quick tip or take a deep dive into the inner workings of iCloud, this best-selling book is your ticket. You'll start by learning what iCloud can do, how it differs from other cloud services, and how best to set it up on Macs, iOS devices, Apple TVs, and Windows-based PCs.

Joe then explains the key aspects -- and hidden gotchas -- of iCloud's core features, including iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Sharing, Family Sharing, iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library, iCloud Drive, Mail and Mail Drop, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Notes, iCloud Keychain, the iCloud Web site, Find My iPhone, Find My Mac, Find My Friends, two-factor authentication, activation lock, Back to My Mac, and backing up and restoring iOS data.

Joe also looks carefully at iCloud's new Desktop and Documents folder syncing feature in macOS 10.12 Sierra, as well as what the Optimize Mac Storage checkbox will do behind the scenes. Plus he helps you get started with copying and pasting between Apple devices using the new Universal Clipboard.

You'll fly high with iCloud as you learn how to use:

• iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Sharing: Move your photos around with iCloud Photo Library and/or My Photo Stream, and understand the many differences between the two. Plus, share photos with iCloud Photo Sharing.
• iCloud Storage: Apple gives you 5 GB of free storage space, and is happy to take your money if you want more. Find out which of your iCloud holdings count toward your storage allocation and which do not, and how to delete unwanted data.
• iCloud Drive: Understand the iCloud Drive folder in the Finder, get a grip on iCloud Drive peculiarities, consider the implications of Sierra's Optimize Mac Storage checkbox, and get real-world directions for using iCloud Drive to sync files.
• Desktop and Documents folder syncing: Read Joe's take on this feature, consider its quirks, and, if you do decide to turn it on, find directions for how to proceed.
Family Sharing: Quickly set up a group to share a calendar, photos, Find My iPhone map, apps and media, and more. Also, take control of what a child may purchase with Ask to Buy.
• Mail: Understand what's on offer with an iCloud email account, and see how you can use Mail Drop for large attachments.
• Calendar, Contacts, and other bits: View and manage calendar and contact data, share calendars, and send invitations to events. Plus, get going with browser bookmarks, iCloud Safari tabs, Safari Reading List, Reminders, and Notes.
• iCloud Keychain: Store and sync login credentials and credit card details within Safari so you can access them later from any of your Apple devices.
• iCloud Web site: Use iCloud's Web interface for apps such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Find My iPhone, and Find My Friends.
• Find My...: Look in Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod touch/Mac to locate a device that's gone missing, and keep tabs on friends and family with Find My Friends.
• iCloud Backup: Manage your iOS backups in iCloud, and find steps for restoring your backup after a problem!
• Apple TV: Get more out of your Apple TV with iTunes Match, Photos, and iMovie Theater.
• Back to My Mac: Connect to a far-away Mac over the Internet and use file sharing and screen sharing just as though you were on the same network.
• Two-factor-authentication: Find savvy advice about setting a good password, and discover how to further secure your account with two-factor authentication.

You'll also find answers to many questions, including:

• How can I use multiple iCloud accounts without messing things up?
• How can I share iCloud contacts with another person?
• What should I know before I turn on Desktop and Documents folder syncing?
• What's the difference between iTunes Match and Apple Music, and is either right for me?
• How can I store my Web logins in Safari so I can enter them without hassle, whether on a Mac or in iOS?
• I'm freaked out about someone accessing my iCloud account. How can I set up two-factor authentication and what happens after that?
• How can I tell if a secondhand iOS device was stolen?
• How can I create, update, and share a calendar for my club, even if some members don't use iCloud?
• How do I configure my email software to use my iCloud email address?
• How does Dropbox's Camera Uploads feature compare to My Photo Stream?

Compatibility check: For the most part, this book assumes your operating system(s) are macOS 10.12 Sierra, iOS 10 or later, Windows 7 or later, and Apple TV software version 7 or later (third- or fourth-generation Apple TV). Although it occasionally calls attention to differences in operating systems, it doesn't provide detailed instructions for using iCloud with older software.