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Like this article? We recommend iCloud's Focus Is On Ease of Use

iCloud's Focus Is On Ease of Use

When you upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 5, part of this upgrade process includes setting up a free iCloud account using your existing Apple ID. Starting in July 2011, you can also set up a free iCloud account when you upgrade your Mac to OS X Lion or when you upgrade to the latest version of iTunes on your PC.

Your iCloud account comes with a personalized email account, as well as 5GB of online storage space for your files and documents. Your available storage space for music, apps, eBooks, and your personalized Photo Stream is unlimited. For an annual fee, additional online storage space for your iPhone or iPad can be purchased directly from within the Settings apps, which is also used to customize how this online–based file sharing service is used by your iOS device.

After the initial set-up process, which takes just minutes, Apple has designed most of iCloud's features to work automatically, in the background. So, when you purchase a new song from iTunes, for example, it will automatically be saved on iCloud and made available on all of your devices. Same with photos, documents, files, and email related to your iCloud email account.

While you can manually share individual documents between your iOS device, iCloud, and your primary computer, files and documents created or edited using compatible apps or software can be set to automatically be synchronized via iCloud.

It's important to understand, however, that to utilize certain features of iCloud (including the backup and restore features), your iPhone or iPad must have access to a Wi-Fi Internet connection, as opposed to a 3G connection.

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