It used to be that keeping data in sync across multiple computers and devices could be a challenge that required syncing, add-on software, or a lot of coordination. And even then, data would almost inevitably get lost or older files would accidentally replace newer ones.
But thanks to iCloud, Apple's web-based data storage and syncing service, sharing data like contacts, calendars, emails, and photos across multiple computers and devices is easy. With iCloud enabled on your devices, each time you're connected to the Internet and make changes to iCloud-enabled apps, those changes will automatically be uploaded to your iCloud account and then shared to all your compatible devices.
With iCloud, keeping data in sync is as simple as setting up each of your devices to use your iCloud account. Here's what you need to use iCloud:
- An Apple ID/iTunes account (don't have one? Get one here). Your iCloud account will use the same username and password.
- A Mac running OS X 10.7.2 or higher, OR
- A PC running Windows Vista or 7 or higher and iCloud Control Panel, OR
- An iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5 or higher, AND
- iTunes 10.5 or higher
To use the web-based iCloud apps, you'll need Safari 5, Firefox 5, Internet Explorer 8, or Chrome 12, or higher.
Assuming you've got the required software, let's move on to setting up iCloud, beginning with desktop and laptop computers.