iCloud, what is it and how does it work?

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Since yesterday Apple users have had - and have - the option of updating their old operating system with the brand new iOS 5 , a platform that brings with it many new features and that this time stands out for having an unpublished tool . We mean iCloud , of course, a new system from Apple to enable cloud storage . A delight for users who have several devices in their possession : it can be an iPhone, an iPad and even a desktop computerin which they work or spend their leisure time. Today we are going to enter fully into the iCloud universe , since Apple has already released the tool and it is very possible that you are wondering what it is for and if it can be useful for something . With this article we want to help clarify concepts . Let's go there.

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Your content, accessible from anywhere

As we told you at the beginning, iCloud is a complex cloud storage system that aims to give you access to the information that you have stored online through all your devices. This means that you can download songs from your computer and they will be stored in iCloud so that later you can listen to them from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch , for example. The same will happen with your photos, your applications, email, calendars, and so on. In return you will not have to do anything. The contents are saved by themselves and the synchronization passes away. iCloud is a manager that works in the cloud for you .

What does iCloud offer?

Well, it must be said that iCloud is already installed on all devices that have iOS 5 . This includes your Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad , as long as you've already updated them. In this way, when you access you will already have 5 GB of free space , not counting the storage of photos, music and applications. This is the responsibility of Apple . In this way, you have at your disposal - right off the bat - 5 GB to save documents and other files that you want to have in the cloud. If you want, you can expand your storage capacity. You will have to check how well these GB are available . You should know, however, that10 GB cost 16 euros per year; 20 GB, 32 euros a year and 50 GB, 80 euros. Study the possibilities and see what is best for you. The options are the most varied.

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The problem, as always happens in the case of Apple , is that the tool is eminently designed for users of the company's devices. In this way, you will have to jump the odd obstacle before installing this tool , especially if you have the Windows operating system . If you are one of the latter, we recommend that you strictly follow the instructions offered by Apple to start iCloud on your PC . Of course, you will have to forget about it if you work on any other platform.

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Interesting features

As we were saying, iCloud is a good tool for storing content in the cloud . In this way, Apple's main functionalities have already been automatically adapted to the service so that storing songs, photos and other content is as easy as possible. We refer to the fact that, for example, the music you have in iTunes appears synchronized on all your devices. In addition, from any of them you can check your purchase history and download your favorite songs again .

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The same goes for photos. From now on, if you take a photo with your iPad , it will appear almost instantly on your iPhone or on your computer. In this way, you will have access to your last 1,000 photos in streaming from anywhere. Your albums finally available at any home or meeting with friends, to teach snapshots of your last trip, your wedding or your latest art project .

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Those who usually work from their mobile phone or iPad are also in luck. And it is that in the documentation section, iCloud also guarantees that the latest changes made appear in all documents. All applications dedicated to graphic or text editing are also fully synchronized, including PC and Mac . This will be great for you to finish a document on the bus or subway , without having to rewrite the changes on your home desktop computer .

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The applications also work on all devices , so you will not have to do additional downloads to use the same programs anywhere. This also means getting backups to ensure you don't lose anything along the way. On the other hand, one of the most interesting options is undoubtedly the synchronization with the calendar . All your appointments will appear on all devices, and you can modify them and create new ones without having to duplicate efforts . This will come in handy if you use your devices to work and organize your life, both personal and professional .

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But this is not all. You can also use geolocation services to share locations with your friends for a limited time , for example, in addition to using the tool from another device if you've lost your iPhone , for example.

To start using these services, all you have to do is download iOS 5 and update your device . That is to say, it is not necessary to get hold of the iPhone 4S to enjoy this service. A service that, by the way, reminds us quite a lot of other similar ones that have been working for a long time. Some examples are Microsoft's SkyDrive or the integration of Picasa, Google Docs, Calendar, Gmail and other Google services on Android .