iCloud

iCloud is Apple's cloud-based storage service and app server, designed to let users store data ranging from documents, photos, and music to device backups and app data, such as save states. iCloud is an essential part of the Apple ecosystem, ensuring customers do not lose data, files, or iOS device setups even when an Apple product is lost, stolen, or damaged.

iCloud also includes a set of cloud-based web apps, accessible on any browser though the iCloud website. With iCloud apps, users can access their mail, contacts, calendar, photos, notes, and reminders, or track the location of their iOS and Mac devices. Apple's iWork apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, can also be used in a browser through iCloud.

Every iCloud user is given 5GB of free storage, but 50GB, 200GB, or 1TB of additional storage can be purchased for $0.99, $2.99, or $9.99 per month.

'iCloud' Articles

Apple Hires Former Time Warner Cable Exec for Cloud Services Team

Former Time Warner Cable executive Peter Stern has joined Apple to work on the cloud services team, reports The Wall Street Journal. Stern will serve as a vice president, reporting to iTunes chief Eddy Cue. During his tenure at Time Warner Cable, Stern was involved in talks with Apple about a potential deal for a joint television service that would be offered on the Apple TV. No such deal was able to be established, however, as Apple has had ongoing negotiation difficulties with content providers. Stern left Time Warner Cable following its acquisition by Charter Communications earlier this year.He served in senior strategy and corporate development roles at the cable company as it maneuvered through multiple takeover attempts over the past few years. Most recently, as chief product, people and strategy officer, Mr. Stern helped implement a strategy focused on customer service that helped Time Warner Cable grow its cable TV subscribers last year after nearly a decade of losses.According to The Wall Street Journal, Stern is a vocal proponent for eliminating proprietary cable boxes provided by cable companies. He believes content providers should "be more open" to offering TV channels as apps across a wide range of devices. Given his expertise in the cable industry, Stern may help Eddy Cue negotiate deals with media companies for a future television service. Cloud services also encompasses Apple Music, iTunes, and other iCloud-based products, so his hiring does not necessarily suggest a renewed interest in television

Apple Adds New 2TB iCloud Storage Tier for $19.99 Per Month

Apple today quietly added a new iCloud storage tier, offering customers 2TB of data storage space at a price of $19.99 per month in the United States. Apple now offers four iCloud storage tiers at prices that start at $0.99. The new 2TB iCloud storage option comes just over a week ahead of the company's September 7 event, where new versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch are expected to debut alongside new operating system updates. Rumors have suggested camera improvements could be one of the features coming to the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and that could be one of the reasons Apple is introducing more storage space. A dual-lens camera, as is rumored for the iPhone 7 Plus, could potentially produce images that are larger, resulting in customers who need more space to store their photos and other files. We've also heard rumors that the high-end iPhone models could offer up to 256GB of storage (perhaps limited to the iPhone 7 Plus), which could be another factor leading to Apple's decision to increase available iCloud storage space. Perhaps the biggest reason for the jump in iCloud space is a new desktop syncing feature coming to macOS Sierra. In the new operating system, all files stored on the desktop or in the Documents folder of a Mac are automatically uploaded to iCloud to make them available across a wide range of

Second Man Behind Phishing of Celebrity iCloud Accounts Pleads Guilty

Edward Majerczyk, a 28-year-old Chicago man who played a role in the phishing of celebrity iCloud accounts in 2014, has signed a plea agreement and agreed to plead guilty to a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to court documents made public on Friday. Majerczyk was charged in a Los Angeles, California district court, but will enter his guilty plea in the Northern District of Illinois. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man who was also involved in the iCloud attack known as "Celebgate," likewise entered into a plea agreement in March with a recommended sentence of 18 months in prison. Between November 2013 and September 2014, Majerczyk and Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain the iCloud and Gmail usernames and passwords of over 300 victims, including female celebrities, according to court documents. The perpetrators sent their victims emails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, asking them to provide their usernames and passwords. Majerczyk and Collins used the credentials to illegally access accounts and extract private information, which included nude photographs and videos. In September 2014, hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were then leaked on online image board 4chan before spreading to multiple internet sites, but investigators have not yet been able to find any evidence that either of the men were directly behind the leak. Shortly after the breach occurred, Apple conducted an investigation that revealed the accounts were compromised by weak

Apple Reportedly Using Chinese Server Supplier to Migrate iCloud Service

Apple is reportedly working with China-based server vendor Inspur to help transfer its iCloud data services in-house, according to sources out of the China supply chain (via DigiTimes). Currently Apple is thought to rely heavily on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host many of its cloud server requirements, but the company’s data center plans suggest it is looking to scale back the money it spends on third-party cloud computing platforms as its data demands increase. Inspur currently has a share of over 60 percent of China's internet server market, and has previously agreed partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and other technology companies looking to expand their server capacity. Inspur already has facilities close to Apple's headquarters in California that include an R&D team as well as a production center. Neither Apple nor Inspur have confirmed the rumor, but sources within the supply chain quoted by Taiwan-based website DigiTimes have proven reliable in the past. Last month, Apple signed a deal with Google worth between $400 million and $600 million that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs until its own data centers are all fully operational. Apple is currently building new data centers in Ireland, Denmark, Reno, and Arizona, and is expanding its existing data

Apple Working to Create its Own Cloud Storage Infrastructure

Apple is working on building its own cloud infrastructure to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, according to information shared by Re/code and VentureBeat. A project called "McQueen" is underway at Apple, with a team of employees working to create an in-house cloud storage system.According to a source familiar with the matter, Apple already has a team working on this; it's known internally as "McQueen," as in Steve. It's unclear if that project will materialize or when. But a source tells Re/code that the codename refers to Apple's intent, sometime in the next few years, to break its reliance on all three outside cloud providers in favor of its own soup-to-nuts infrastructure.According to VentureBeat, Apple is unhappy with AWS's inability to quickly load photos and videos onto iOS devices, something its own cloud system could fix. Apple executives reportedly believe that creating a full cloud infrastructure could pay for itself within three years. Estimates suggest Apple spends upwards of $1 billion on cloud services each year.Project McQueen kicked off after a conversation between a Microsoft employee and an Apple employee, the source said. Azure won't be able to handle the growth of Apple's workloads in the future, meaning Apple would have to pay much more in order to help Microsoft cover the cost of expanding Azure's data center infrastructure, the Microsoft person told the Apple person.Apple is already investing significant money into building new data centers around the world and is said to be

Apple Inks Deal to Use Google Cloud Platform for Some iCloud Services

Apple has signed a deal with Google that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services, reports CRN (via Business Insider). Apple reportedly established a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last last year and has, as a result, "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn't be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.While the money Apple is now paying Google was previously spent on AWS, Apple has not stopped using Amazon's cloud computing services entirely. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs. According to The Information's Amir Efrati, who has confirmed Apple's plans, it will take a year for Apple to transition to using Google Cloud Platform. It’s true, @iCloud to be partially powered by @googlecloud. But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. @awscloud lost $ from iCloud.— Amir Efrati (@amir) March 16, 2016 Since last year, Google has been aggressively pursuing deals for its Google Cloud Platform, led by former VMware CEO Diane Greene. Google and Amazon have been involved in ongoing pricing wars, but Google claims to be the "price/performance

iCloud Backups Not as Secure as iOS Devices to Make Restoring Data Easier

Apple's ongoing fight with the FBI over whether the company can be compelled to help the government unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook has brought the full range of Apple's privacy policies into the spotlight. The details surrounding the case have made it clear that while Apple is unable to access information on iOS devices, the same is not true of iCloud backups. Apple can decrypt an iCloud backup and provide the information to authorities when ordered to do so via a warrant, as it did in the San Bernardino case. In a piece posted on The Verge entitled "The iCloud Loophole," Walt Mossberg takes a look at Apple's iCloud backups and explains the reason why iCloud data can't be made as secure as data stored solely on an iPhone or iPad. Apple is able to decrypt "most" of the data included in an iCloud backup, and an Apple official told Mossberg that's because the company views privacy and security issues differently between physical devices that can be lost and iCloud. With iCloud, it needs to be accessible by Apple so it can be used for restoring data.However, in the case of iCloud, while security must also be strong, Apple says it must leave itself the ability to help the user restore their data, since that's a key purpose of the service. This difference also helps dictate Apple's response to law enforcement requests. The company's position is that it will provide whatever relevant information it has to government agencies with proper, legal requests. However, it says, it doesn't have the information needed to open a passcode-protected

App Store and iTunes Experiencing Issues for Many Users Worldwide

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect that many users may be unable to access, purchase, or update apps on the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Multiple other iCloud services are or were also experiencing downtime, including the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, iCloud Drive, and iWork for iCloud. The issues began shortly before 7:00 a.m. Pacific and appear to be widespread, affecting customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere, according to social media posts. Apple TV services and Apple's Volume Purchase Program are also affected by the service issues. Update (9:10 a.m. Pacific): Apple's System Status page shows that the App Store, iTunes, and other iCloud services have been

Multiple Apple Services Experiencing Widespread Outage [Updated]

Apple has updated its system status page to reflect widespread issues affecting multiple Apple products and services since approximately 7:30 PM Pacific, including the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes Match, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and Radio. Many users are also unable to fully access or use the Apple website, Apple Online Store, Apple ID, Apple Music, FaceTime, iCloud, iMessage, Mail, TestFlight and several other Apple services, suggesting possible larger server or DNS issues. Apple's standard response on its system status page says it is investigating and will provide a status update as more information becomes available. Update 8:38 PM: Apple's system status page now indicates the issues have been resolved, and users are indeed reporting Apple's services are up and running once

Apple's iCloud Website Gains New Find My Friends App

Apple today added a web-based Find My Friends app to its iCloud.com site (via 9to5Mac), allowing users to locate their friends on a Mac or PC through the web. Find My Friends has long been available on iPhones and iPads through an iOS app, but this is the first time the feature has been made available on all platforms through a universal web app. Find My Friends will display the location of each friend on a map, and it will also let users know which friends are located nearby. Today's addition of Find My Friends to iCloud.com comes following its promotion to a default app within iOS 9, which means it comes pre-installed on all iOS devices and cannot be deleted. Find My Friends joins Find My iPhone and several other iCloud apps, including Mail, Calendar, Photos, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, iCloud Drive, and the iWork suite of

Apple Gives iCloud Customers in Greece 30 Extra Days of Storage Amid Fiscal Crisis

Due to capital controls in Greece that prevent residents from making payments abroad due to the country's ongoing financial crisis, many Greek customers have been unable to make purchases through online services such as iTunes and Paypal. The emergency measure has also created a problem for iCloud users in Greece, who have had difficulty renewing their premium storage plan subscriptions since late June. Bloomberg News shared Apple's email received by its Athens-based staff earlier this week:“On June 30, we tried to charge your account for your iCloud space of 20GB, but there is a problem with your payment details,” said one e-mail received by Bloomberg News staff based in Athens. “If we don’t manage to renew your subscription, your account will be downgraded to the free 5GB space program.” The user has a standing monthly payment for a 0.99-euro-cent ($1.11) payment for the storage service.Fortunately, Apple has now sent an email to iCloud customers in Greece (via iPhoneHellas) to inform them that their iCloud storage plans have been extended by an extra 30 days at no additional cost. Apple will not attempt to charge iCloud customers in Greece until 30 days after their original renewal date, which buys some much-needed time for Greek customers while the country attempts to sort out its financial situation. Dear iCloud customer, To prevent interruption in your iCloud service during the current fiscal crisis, and to make sure you have access to your content, we’ve extended your iCloud storage plan for an extra 30 days at no additional cost. We won’t attempt to

Apple Rumored to Build High-Speed Network for Faster Cloud Services

Apple is building a high-speed content delivery network and plans to upgrade its data centers with more of its own equipment in an effort to better compete with Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud service providers, according to Bloomberg. The improved infrastructure will enable Apple to provide faster delivery of cloud-based content and services such as iCloud, iTunes and Siri. The high-speed network may be a prerequisite for Apple's much-rumored streaming music and TV services, the first of which is expected to be announced at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco. Efficient content delivery will be important for both services, especially if the company plans to fulfill its ambitious goal of signing up 100 million subscribers for Apple Music. The foundation of Apple's high-speed data network will reportedly be long-haul pipes connecting the company's data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon. Apple has also been planning ways to send data via fiber lines at hundreds of gigabits per second, as opposed to solely using off-the-shelf technology rented from third-party vendors, according to the report.“Apple wants to own pipes linking its four large U.S. data centers and Internet hubs in certain cities to ensure fast, reliable delivery of content and services. By adding capacity and increasing efficiency, it seeks to handle more traffic on its own, without renting as much server space from cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft, said people with knowledge of the plan, who asked not to be identified

iCloud, Mail, Photos and Other Apple Services Experiencing Issues [Updated]

Apple has updated its system status page to reflect ongoing issues with eleven iCloud-related services: Back to My Mac, Documents in the Cloud, iCloud Account & Sign In, iCloud Backup, iCloud Drive, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Mail, iMovie Theater, iWork for iCloud Beta, Photos and Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. The services have been affected since around 12 AM Pacific. iCloud is having issues since 3:11 AM EDT. http://t.co/z2kUNXWrcN RT if it's down for you as well #iclouddown— DownDetector (@downdetector) May 21, 2015 Multiple users have turned to Twitter and the MacRumors discussion forums to confirm the issues, which range from services running slow for some users to being down entirely for others. The issues follow a prolonged iTunes and App Store outage in early March and lengthy iTunes Connect and TestFlight downtime for developers earlier this month. Update 7:05 AM Pacific: Apple's services are now restored per its system status

Apple Opens Up 'iWork for iCloud' to Everyone, No Apple Device Required

Following a short beta testing period, Apple's iCloud.com website has been updated to make its iWork suite of apps accessible to all users, even those without an Apple device. As of today, anyone can sign up for an Apple ID to access Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for free. The software suite lets users create and edit text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from their browsers. Signing up for a free Apple ID account entitles users to 1GB of complimentary iCloud storage to be used with the apps for storing documents. Previously, access to Apple's iWork suite of apps was limited to users who owned an iOS device or a Mac, but with Apple's new web-only iCloud access, the company can draw new users to its platform and compete with more universal software offerings like Microsoft's Office Suite. iCloud.com's web-only apps can be accessed from recent versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Free accounts are limited to 1GB of storage and users will need an iOS device or Mac to acquire more storage or access iCloud's full set of

Microsoft Office for iOS Updated With iCloud Drive Support

Microsoft today released an update for its suite of Office apps on Apple's iPhone and iPad App Store for users running iOS 8. The 1.6 updates bring, along with the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements, full support for saving and syncing documents via Apple's iCloud Drive service (via The Verge). Microsoft says users of its most popular software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can now open, edit, and save their work to iCloud as a storage option in the "Places" section of each iOS app. The additional storage method doesn't require users to have an Office 365 subscription and comes as an alternative to Microsoft's own cloud storage option, OneDrive. As pointed out by The Verge, light restrictions on a few file types may hinder iCloud's usage on Microsoft's iOS apps, however.There’s also restrictions on filetypes, so while you can see a thumbnail preview of text in a document created with TextEdit on a Mac (stored on iCloud), you can’t access the document or edit it. Overall, it’s a fairly basic feature addition, but one that will please (and possibly frustrate) those who use iCloud on a regular basis.Microsoft most recently added a similar feature to flesh out its iOS offerings with a partnership with Dropbox that let users open, edit, and save their documents using the popular document-saving cloud app. The Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps launched on the iPhone in early November, bringing free document creation and basic editing to the service. Microsoft Word [Direct Link], Microsoft Excel [Direct Link], and Microsoft PowerPoint [Direct Link] can all

iWork for iCloud Beta Apps Now Accessible Without an Apple Device

Apple on Thursday made Pages, Numbers and Keynote accessible to users without an Apple device through iCloud Beta. Starting last night, anyone can sign up for an Apple ID to access the trio of iWork for iCloud beta apps for free. Each account comes with 1GB of complimentary iCloud storage for use with the productivity software. While the offer is currently limited to the iCloud Beta website, it is likely that Apple will rollout the feature to the regular version in the future. To create a free Apple ID account, navigate to iCloud Beta and click on the get started link in the top banner to begin the signup process. Apple introduced iWork for iCloud at WWDC 2013, bringing Pages, Numbers and Keynote to the web. After receiving "overwhelming response," Apple eventually opened the service to all users a few months later. iWork for iCloud has been steadily improved since then with interactive charts, an updated design, expanded language support and

iCloud.com Photos App Gains New Zoom, Email Features

Apple's iCloud.com Photos app was quietly updated over the weekend, adding a new zoom option to the toolbar that lets users zoom in on photos that have been uploaded to iCloud Photo Library. As noted by German site iFun.de, Apple's web-based Photos app has also gained a new feature that allows users to send photos via email directly from the website, making sharing photos easier than ever before. The addition of new zoom and email features follows a major November update to the iCloud.com Photos app, which began allowing users to upload photos to iCloud for the first time. Before the addition of the uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site only allowed users to view, download, and delete iCloud Photo Library images. With the uploading tool and new sharing features, iCloud is slowly becoming a viable and useful storage option for users who wish to upload and manage entire photo libraries. Still in beta, iCloud Photo Library was initially introduced alongside iOS 8.1, letting users sync and access all of their photos on all of their iOS devices and Macs via the web. Apple is working on a Photos app for the Mac, which will work alongside both the Photos app on iOS and the iCloud.com Photos app on the web. Photos, which will replace both Apple's iPhoto app and Aperture, is supposed to be launching in the early months of 2015. There's been little word on its development since its initial June introduction,