According to Apple, its iCloud service has now reached 300 million users, having increased 20% in Q2. For anyone considering using the service over rival services, there are several technical benefits that may be of interest.
iCloud automatically backs up media purchased online. It is useful for backing up different media such as apps, TV shows, music, video, books, photos and others. Users can also use it to store device settings, app organization, home screen organization, ringtones and even messages. This is useful because users who purchase new devices that support iCloud get their devices updated without connecting them to any Mac or PC.
2. Photo Stream
Photo Stream allows users to view and synchronize their most recent photographs (1,000 of them), so long as they have been taken with iCloud compatible devices. Apple has recently improved this functionality by allowing users to create Shared Photo Streams that immediately shared different photos with those you want to see them (family photos, images for work colleagues etc).
3. Lost Mode
iCloud was first shipped with a security feature that allows users to lock their devices and send messages to others when their gadgets are lost. In iOS 6, there is a feature for putting iCloud-supported devices in lost mode. Lost mode locks the device with a pass code and places a lost banner on the screen. Users can provide specific numbers where they can be reached and GPS tracking is also integrated.
4. iTunes Match
iTunes Match allows users to transfer music acquired elsewhere into iTunes for a fee. The added music files are then converted to Apple’s 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free codec before adding them to the iCloud. In case some files cannot be matched, they will be uploaded from the computer and from there they can be streamed and stored on any compatible devices.
5. Documents in the Cloud
iCloud allows users to create presentations and documents on different devices and update them on all supported devices. What is more, there is no need to manage the documents in complex file systems or special folders. The documents are stored in the cloud and hence can be accessed from any device.
iCloud bills itself as the easiest way to manage content, and with the above features, it certainly looks to be living up to its name. The service is also integrated into different apps so that it can easily be accessed from multiple devices. Even average iPad and iPhone users will find this service hugely beneficial.