While many people may have seen Apple’s TV commercials, they are still not familiar with the benefits of iCloud and how to use it. Understanding and customizing the information synced across your devices will help keep your important information up to date across all your devices.

By opening the Settings app on your iOS device and selecting iCloud, you can choose the information you want to sync. To sync information, your device must be connected to the Internet using Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection.


If you set the Mail option to the ON position, your emails from iCloud.com will reach all devices connected to your account.

You must have an iCloud.com email address for this to work properly. If you don’t have an iCloud.com address, you can get one for free right from your device. The first time the Mail option is set to the ON position, the system will recognize that no email address exists. You will be asked if you want to create an email account. Just follow the instructions on the screen to set up the email account.

The service only manages emails from iCloud.com. Any other email addresses you have will not automatically be sent to all of your devices. Email accounts will need to be manually set up on each device.

Contacts, calendars and reminders

Enabling these options allows your contacts, calendars, and reminders to sync across all of your devices. If you update something on one device, it automatically updates on all your other devices.


Setting Safari to ON will sync bookmarks and tabs across devices. To see tabs from other devices, open Safari on one device and select the icon at the bottom of the page that looks like an open book.

This is where your bookmarks are stored. Select the item called “iCloud Tabs” from the list. This should display a list of all open browser tabs on all your devices.


Enabling this option allows you to share notes across all your devices. Changes to existing notes or any new notes created on one device are automatically available on all other devices.


Passbook keeps your airline boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards all in one place. The coupon can be redeemed by scanning the iPhone or iPod touch at the point of use. The merchant must create a Passbook-enabled pass or iOS app for the service to work with Passbook. Current Passbook services are limited, but the list of participating merchants continues to grow. The Passbook app is only available on iPhone and iPod touch.

Photo sequence

Enabling Photo Stream allows you to share photos across all your devices. Photos taken on one device are automatically available on all other devices. You can even create separate photo streams to share with others.

Documents and Data

If you use Apple’s iWork suite of applications (Pages, Numbers, or Keynote) for word processing, spreadsheets, or presentations, this option allows you to automatically share documents between devices. Not all apps are designed to share data, but most Apple apps will have some interaction with iCloud. For example, iBooks will remember the page you were reading on one device and automatically go to that page when the book is opened on another device.

find my iphone

This service allows you to locate a device if it is lost. Enable Find My iPhone on each device. You cannot locate a device if this option is not set to the ON position. When a device is missing, you can use the Find My iPhone app on any iOS device to locate the missing device. Also, you can sign in to the iCloud website from any computer to use the Find My iPhone service.

iCloud storage and backup

Selecting this item accesses the storage and backup options. Enabling the backup feature will automatically back up your data to iCloud. Backed up data includes photos, device settings, app data, messages, ringtones, and visual voicemails.

You can select which apps back up data by selecting Manage storage. This will provide a list of apps that are currently backing up data to iCloud. Enable or disable backup for specific apps by toggling the slider. Apple provides 5 GB of storage for free. If you want additional storage, you’ll need to purchase a storage plan from Apple by selecting Change Storage Plan.

Hopefully this brief overview will help you understand iCloud and its benefits. Customizing settings can help you keep your important information up to date across all your devices.

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