Setting Up iCloud and Other Online Accounts
- Dec 26, 2013
No iPhone is an island. Connecting your iPhone to the Internet enables you to share and sync a wide variety of content. Using iCloud, you can put your email, contacts, calendars, and more on the Internet so that multiple devices—most importantly your iPhone—can connect to and use that information. (There’s a lot more you can do with iCloud, too, as you learn throughout this book.) There are lots of other accounts you might also want to use, such as Exchange and Google for email, calendars, and contacts as well as Twitter and Facebook for accessing social networks.
You need to configure each of these accounts on your iPhone to be able to use them; you’ll see a section for a number of accounts you might want to use. Of course, you only need to refer to the section related to the accounts you actually use. You should also understand how you can determine how and when your information is updated along with tasks you might find valuable as you manage the various accounts on your iPhone.
Configuring iCloud Settings
iCloud is a service provided by Apple that provides with you with your own storage space on the Internet. In general, such Internet storage space is known as the cloud, so Apple’s version of this space is called iCloud. You can store your information in your storage space on the cloud, and because it is on the Internet, all your devices are able to access that information at the same time. This means you can easily share your information on your iPhone, a computer, an iPad, and so on, so that the same information and content is available to you no matter which device you are using at any one time.
Although your iPhone can work with many types of online/Internet accounts, iCloud is integrated into the iPhone like no other type of account (not surprising because iCloud is also Apple technology). An iCloud account is really useful in a number of ways. For example, iCloud can be used for the following:
- Email—An iCloud account includes an @icloud.com email address. You can configure any device to use your iCloud email account, including an iPhone, an iPad, an iPod, a computer, and so on.
- Contacts—You can store contact information in iCloud so that you can access it from lots of different devices.
- Calendars—Putting your calendars in iCloud makes it much easier to manage your time.
- Reminders—Through iCloud, you can be reminded of things you need to do or anything else you want to make sure you don’t forget. Like the other features, you can have the same reminders on any device you’ve connected to your iCloud account.
- Safari—iCloud can store your bookmarks, letting you easily access the same websites from all your devices.
- Notes—With the Notes app, you can create text notes for many purposes; iCloud enables you to access these notes on any iCloud-enabled device.
- Passbook—The Passbook app stores coupons, tickets, boarding passes, and other documents so you can access them quickly and easily. With iCloud, you can ensure that these documents are available on any iCloud-enabled device.
- Photos—iCloud’s Photo Stream functionality may be one of its best features. Using Photo Stream, the photos you take on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch are immediately uploaded to the cloud and then downloaded to other devices. Configuring a computer to use Photo Stream is especially useful because this automatically provides a backup of your photos. Be aware that the photos stay in the cloud for only 30 days. And you can store up to 1,000 photos at a time; when you reach 1,000, the oldest photos are removed to make room for new photos. For more permanent storage, you should use Photo Stream to automatically download them to a computer or other external storage.
- Documents—iCloud enables you to access any of your documents on iOS devices, Macs, and Windows PCs. These documents can be of a number of types, including Pages, Word, PDF, Excel, Numbers, Keynote, and PowerPoint.
You can also use iCloud to help locate and protect your iPhone through the Find My iPhone feature. In addition to locating your iPhone, you can lock it or even remotely wipe its memory if you’ve lost control of it.
Another useful function of iCloud is the ability to back up your iPhone so you can restore its information if something bad happens.
You’ll learn about these features throughout this book (such as Photo Stream, which is covered in Chapter 15, “Working with Photos and Video You Take with Your iPhone”). The tasks in this chapter show you how to set up and configure the iCloud features you’ll likely want to use.
Obtaining an iCloud Account
Of course, to use iCloud on your iPhone, you need to have an iCloud account. The good news is that you probably already have one. The other good news is that even if you don’t, obtaining one is simple and free.
If you have any of the following accounts, you already have an iCloud account and are ready to start using iCloud and can skip ahead to the next section:
- iTunes Store—If you’ve ever shopped at the iTunes Store, you created an account with an Apple ID and password. You can use that Apple ID and password to access iCloud.
- Apple Online Store—As with the iTunes Store, if you made purchases from Apple’s online store, you created an account with an Apple ID and password that also enables you to use iCloud.
- MobileMe/.Mac—If you used these previous iterations of Apple’s online services, you can use the same login information to access your iCloud account.
- Find My iPhone—If you obtained a free Find My iPhone account, you can log in to iCloud using that Apple ID.
During the initial iPhone startup process, you were prompted to sign into or create an iCloud account. If you created one at that time, you are good to go and can move to the next section.
If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can use your iPhone to create one by performing the following steps:
On the Home screen, tap Settings.
Swipe up the screen and tap iCloud.
Tap Get a Free Apple ID.
Provide the information required on the following screens; tap Next to move to the next screen after you’ve entered the required information. You start by entering your birthdate.
During the process, you’ll be prompted to use an existing email address or to create a free iCloud email account. You can choose either option. The email address you use will become your iCloud username. If you create a new email account, you can use that account from any email app on any device, just like other email accounts you have.
You’ll also create a password, enter a rescue email address (optional), set up security questions, and agree to license terms. When your account has been created, you’re prompted to enter your password.
When you’ve provided all of the required information, you’re prompted to allow iCloud to track the location of your iPhone.
Tap OK to activate Find My iPhone. You are ready to complete the configuration of your iCloud account, which is covered in the next section.
Setting Up and Logging In to Your iCloud Account
To be able to use an iCloud account on your iPhone, you need to first sign into your account and then enable the services you want to use and disable those that you don’t want to use. After iCloud is set up on your iPhone, you rarely need to change your account settings. If you restore your iPhone at some point, you might need to revisit these steps to ensure iCloud remains set up as you want it.
To get started, sign into your iCloud account—if you created your iCloud account on your iPhone, you don’t need to perform these steps and can skip to the next task.
On the Home screen, tap Settings.
- Enter your Apple ID. If you see an account field instead of the Apple ID field, an iCloud account is already enabled on the iPhone. If it is your account, skip to the next section. If it isn’t your account, swipe up the screen and tap Delete Account; tap Delete and continue with these steps.
- Enter your Apple ID password.
Tap Sign In. You are logged in to your iCloud account.
At the prompt, tap either OK to allow iCloud to access your iPhone’s location or Don’t Allow if you don’t want this to happen. You need to allow this for Find My iPhone, which enables you to locate your phone, to work. You’re ready to configure the rest of iCloud’s services.
Enabling iCloud to Keep Your Information in Sync
One of the best things about iCloud is that it helps you have the same email, contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, notes, and passbook data on all your iCloud-enabled devices. You can choose to use iCloud syncing for any or all of these types of information by performing the following steps:
- Move to the iCloud screen by tapping Settings, iCloud. Just below the account currently signed in are the iCloud data-syncing options. Each of these has a two-position switch. When green shows on a switch, it means that switch is turned on and the related data is synced to your iCloud account. For example, if Contacts shows green, your contact information is being stored on the cloud so you can have the same contacts and all your iCloud-enabled devices. By default, all these switches are in the on position.
If you don’t want a specific type of data to be synced, tap its switch so that it moves to the left and is no longer green. The related data-syncing is disabled on your iPhone. When you disable syncing, you might be prompted as to whether to keep the information on your iPhone or delete it.
If you choose Keep on My iPhone, the information remains on your iPhone but is no longer connected to the cloud; this means any changes you make will exist only on the iPhone. If you choose Delete from My iPhone, the information is erased (it is still available on the cloud, however).
Configuring Photo Stream
Photo Stream is a really nice feature because it enables you to store your photos in your personal Internet storage space so they can be automatically available or downloaded to other devices. You can also share photos with others and access photos being shared with you. To configure Photo Stream, do the following:
On the iCloud Settings screen, tap Photos.
- Ensure that the My Photo Stream switch is on (green). Any photos you take with the iPhone’s camera are copied onto iCloud, and from there they are copied to your other devices on which the Photo Stream is enabled.
- To be able to share your Photo Stream and to subscribe to other people’s Photo Streams, set the Photo Sharing switch to on (green).
Configuring Documents and Data
You can store documents and other data in your iCloud storage space, which is useful for many things. For example, you can store a Pages document in the cloud and seamlessly work on the same document on your iPhone, an iPad, and a computer. To configure this function, do the following:
On the iCloud screen, tap Documents & Data.
- Ensure the Documents & Data switch is in the on position (green) so that your documents and data are stored in the cloud.
- If your cellular data plan has a limit on how much data you can use per month, you might want to set the Use Cellular Data to off (white). This prevents documents and data from being synced through your cellular network, which can use up a significant amount of your monthly data plan. If you have unlimited data or you don’t use that many documents, leave this on (green).
Enabling Find My iPhone and Choosing Where to Back Up
Find My iPhone enables you to locate and secure your iPhone if needed. And you can choose where you want to back up the information stored on your iPhone. To set up these areas, do the following:
- If you didn’t enable Find My iPhone when you logged in to your iCloud account, set the Find My iPhone switch to on (green); you’ll need to touch the Touch ID button on an iPhone 5S or type your Apple ID password on other iPhone models to be able to activate this feature.
Tap Storage & Backup.
To have your iPhone’s settings and other information backed up to your iCloud account, slide the switch next to iCloud Backup to on (green).
Tap OK. Be aware that when you use iCloud to back up your information, it is not backed up to your computer automatically (however, you can use iTunes to back it up on your computer manually).
Tap iCloud. Your iCloud account configuration is complete.
Advanced Configuration of Your iCloud Account
Most of the time, you can use your iCloud account just fine if you only configure it as described in the previous section. However, there are a number of other configuration options that you might want to use at some point, and those are explained in this task.
- Move to the iCloud Settings screen.
Tap your account.
- If desired, change the description of the account to make it more distinctive in lists of accounts on your phone, such as in the Mail app.
- Use the controls in the STORAGE PLAN section to increase the amount of storage your account has (or decrease it, if you have previously increased it).
Swipe up the screen.
Tap the account shown next to Mail.
- If you want to change the name shown in the From field on messages you send, tap your name and edit it.
- Tap the email address that you want to be the default when you use your iCloud email. The addresses you see depend on how your account is configured. For example, if you have created email aliases (see the Go Further section at the end of these steps), you can choose an alias as your default email address.
On the ALLOW SENDING FROM list, set the switch to on (green) for any addresses that you want to allow sending email from, or turn it off if you want to prevent email from being sent from that address.
- Swipe up the screen. You see the OUTGOING MAIL SERVER section. Here, you see and can configure information about the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server your account uses to send email. In almost all cases, you leave this configured as it is by default (see the Go Further sidebar at the end of these steps for more information on SMTP).
Tap Advanced. On this screen, you can configure where various types of email messages are stored.
Tap Drafts Mailbox.
To have drafts of your emails stored on the iPhone, tap Drafts in the ON MY IPHONE section, or to have them stored on the server, tap Inbox or one of the other folders in the ON THE SERVER section. The advantage of storing drafts on the server is that you can work on them from any locations that can access your account, such as an email app on a computer. If you save them on your iPhone, you can work on them only using the iPhone.
- Tap Advanced.
- Using the same process as in steps 15 and 16, set the location where you want send, deleted, and archived messages sent. Like drafts, you can have them stored on your iPhone or on the iCloud server.
- Tap Deleted Mailbox if you want messages to move into that folder when you delete them or Archive mailbox if you prefer to have them moved there instead. The difference between these folders is that messages stay in the Archive folder whereas they are removed from the Deleted mailbox periodically.
- Choose when you want deleted email to be removed from the server. The longer the timeframe, the more storage space on the server is used for deleted messages, but the longer you can recover those messages. If you choose to archive your messages, this doesn’t really matter because you can always move back to your archive folder to retrieve deleted messages.
Tap Done on the Mail screen.
Tap Done on the Account screen.