iCloud Basics for Your iPhone 4S - dummies

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Apple’s iCloud service, which comes free with your iPhone 4S, is more than just a wireless hard drive in the sky. Rather, iCloud is a complete wireless storage and data synchronization solution. In a nutshell, iCloud is designed to store and manage your digital stuff — your music, photos, contacts, events, and more — keeping everything updated on all your computers and i-devices automatically with no physical (wired) connection or action on your part. Like so many things Apple makes, iCloud just works.

iCloud pushes information such as e-mail, calendars, contacts, and bookmarks to and from your computer and to and from your iPhone and other i-devices, and then keeps those items updated on all devices wirelessly and without human intervention.

Your free iCloud account includes 5GB of free storage, which is all many (if not most) users will need. If you find yourself needing more storage, 10-, 20-, and 50-gigabyte upgrades are available for $20, $40, and $100 a year, respectively.

A nice touch is that music, apps, books, periodicals, movies, and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your 5GB of free storage. And the things that do count — such as mail, documents, photos taken with your iPhone camera, account information, settings, and other app data — don’t use much space.

If you plan to go PC-free, but want to have your e-mail, calendars, contacts, and bookmarks synchronized automatically and wirelessly (and of course you do), here’s how to enable iCloud syncing on your iPhone:

  1. Tap Settings on your Home screen.

  2. Tap iCloud in the list of settings on the left.

  3. Tap Account and provide your Apple ID and password.

  4. Tap Done.

Now tap any of the individual On/Off switches to enable or disable iCloud sync for any of the following options:

  • Mail

  • Contacts

  • Calendars

  • Reminders

  • Bookmarks

  • Notes

  • Photo Stream

  • Documents & Data

  • Find My iPhone