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Syncing with iCloud

When you think of your contacts, calendar events, and email messages, you might be tempted to think of that information as being “on your iPad” or “on your computer.” But today this information is usually in both places, and more. This is referred to as “the cloud”—when the actual location of the information isn’t important as long as it is where you need it, when you need it.

As an iPad user, you have access to several different cloud services, most notably Apple’s system called iCloud. It is a free service that offers email, contacts, calendar, documents, and other types of data stored on Apple’s servers and is automatically synced to your iPad and the other Apple devices you may own.

Or, you could choose to use other cloud services, such as Gmail or Yahoo!, for mail and calendar events. There’s no reason to pick just one. For instance, you can use both iCloud and Gmail on your iPad.

When you use cloud services, you get automatic syncing as long as you have a connection to the Internet. For example, add a contact to your iPad and your iPhone automatically updates to show that new contact. Let’s look at how to set up an iCloud account, or link to one you’ve already created.

Connecting to iCloud

  1. Open the Settings app and tap iCloud on the left.
  2. If you have never set up an account with Apple before, then tap Create a New Apple ID to set one up. Any account you have with Apple, such as an iTunes account, would be an Apple ID, and you should use that instead of starting a new account.
  3. If you already have an Apple ID, even if you have never used iCloud before, enter your ID and password. Apple IDs can be any email address, not just an @iCloud.com email address.
  4. Tap Sign In to access your account. If your account has only been used for things like iTunes in the past, you are prompted to set up the new iCloud part of your account.
  5. If you think you have used an email address to log on to iTunes or some other Apple service before, but you can’t remember the password, tap Forgot Apple ID or Password to reset your password.

  6. You can manage your iCloud Drive storage by tapping the iCloud Drive setting. iCloud Drive is the file and documents storage part of iCloud. For example, your Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents can be stored on your iCloud Drive. You can then access them on other iOS or OS X devices. Also see the section about iCloud Drive later in the chapter.
  7. You can turn photo-related iCloud services such as Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library on or off here. See Chapter 9 to learn about how photos are stored.
  8. You can use your iCloud email on your iPad. This would typically be an @icloud.com email address. These addresses are part of the free iCloud service. If you happen to be using a non-Apple email address as an Apple ID, note that this setting has nothing to do with that email account.
  9. If Contacts is on, iCloud stores all your contacts so they automatically sync with the iCloud servers and then to your other Apple devices.

  10. Likewise, iCloud can store your calendar events when the Calendars switch is on.
  11. Turn on Reminders to have the Reminders app use iCloud to store reminders and automatically sync them with your other devices.
  12. Safari can sync over iCloud as well. Things like your bookmarks, tabs, and reading list would sync across devices when the Safari switch is on.
  13. Turn the Notes switch on so that Notes can also sync over iCloud.
  14. You can have your News app preferences sync across your devices. We look at the News app in Chapter 16.
  15. iCloud Backup backs up your settings, documents, photos, and other data to iCloud wirelessly. If your iPad is lost or breaks, you are able to restore your data to a repaired or new iPad later. You should use iCloud Backup unless you prefer to back up to your computer via iTunes and do so on a regular basis.
  16. iOS allows you to store passwords while using Safari so you don’t need to enter them each time. Syncing these over iCloud means that you can also access these passwords on other Apple devices. Tap Keychain to configure this setting. See “Saving Time with AutoFill” in Chapter 7 for more details on working with the Keychain.

  17. Find My iPad is an option that lets you locate your iPad on a map using another Apple device or the iCloud.com website. Be aware that if your Location Services are not on, this feature does not work. See “Using Find My iPad” in Chapter 19.
  18. You can check to see how much storage space you have remaining in your iCloud account. As of late 2014, Apple provides each iPad user with 5GB of free space. You can purchase more if you find that you have a lot of documents or other data, and 5GB isn’t going to be enough.

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