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Using iCloud with Your iPad to Back Up and Sync Data

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This chapter tells what you need to know to set up iCloud to sync files and back up your iPad. It also shows how iCloud.com can be used to manage your files and device.
This chapter is from the book

iCloud is an online-based service operated by Apple that’s designed to offer a wide range of features and functions to iOS mobile device and Mac users. (Some iCloud functionality is also offered to Windows PC users.)

As an iPad user, iCloud can be used for a wide range of tasks, the majority of which are offered to you free of charge. To begin taking advantage of what iCloud offers, you need to set up a free iCloud account, which takes just minutes, and it can be done using your existing Apple ID username and password.

Just as the iOS operating system continues to evolve, so does iCloud. With the release of iOS 7, your iPad and the iCloud service can now be set up to:

  • Sync app-specific data with your other iOS mobile devices (including your iPhone) and your Mac(s). This data also gets stored “in the cloud.”
  • Remotely store all of your iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and Newsstand content purchases.
  • Allow you to track the whereabouts of your iOS mobile devices and Macs.
  • Sync data related to your web surfing activities using Safari, including your Bookmarks, Favorites Bar content, Reading List, as well as website-specific usernames and passwords.
  • Maintain an online backup of your iPad.
  • Create and store digital photos using My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams.
  • Provide access to online versions of core iPad apps, including Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote through the iCloud.com website.

Once you set up a free iCloud account, the majority of iCloud’s features and functions are designed to be turned on and activated once and then continue to work automatically and in the background.

An iCloud account includes 5GB of free online storage space for your backup files, iCloud-related email account data, app-specific synced data, and other content that you store online. However, all of the additional online storage space within your iCloud account that’s needed for iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, or Newsstand purchases, or that’s needed to maintain your My Photo Stream and/or Shared Photo Streams is automatically provided by Apple for free.

For any iCloud-related function to work on your iPad, an Internet connection is required. While most of the available functions will work using either a cellular or Wi-Fi Internet connection, the iCloud Backup, My Photo Stream, and Shared Photo Stream features work only with a Wi-Fi connection. Plus, accessing certain types of past content purchases from your iCloud account that have large file sizes associated with them, such as TV shows and movies, also requires a Wi-Fi Internet connection.

Set Up An iCloud Account

During the initial iPad activation and setup process, you’ll be prompted to either enter your existing iCloud information or create a new iCloud account using your Apple ID and password (or another email address and a password you create). At anytime, however, you can set up a free Apple ID/iCloud account from your tablet when it’s connected to the Internet.

To do this, launch Settings and tap on the iCloud option. Then, from the iCloud submenu, tap on the Get a Free Apple ID option (shown in Figure 12.1). However, if you already have an iCloud account set up for your Mac or iPhone, for example, enter your existing account information within the Apple ID and Password fields found near the top of the iCloud submenu within Settings, and then tap on the Sign In option.


FIGURE 12.1 You can create a new iCloud account (with a new Apple ID) directly from your iPad. However, you only need one account which can be used with all of your Macs, iOS mobile devices, and Apple TV.

As soon as you create a new iCloud account or sign in using your existing Apple ID and password (or preexisting iCloud account information), the iCloud submenu within Settings displays the iCloud submenu (shown in Figure 12.2). From here, you can turn on or off individual iCloud features, and in some cases, customize specific options related to iCloud features.


FIGURE 12.2 From the iCloud submenu within Settings, it’s possible to turn on or off specific iCloud features that relate to your iPad.

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