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Take Control of iCloud
Oct 09, 2017

Take Control of iCloud, Sixth Edition

Understand iCloud’s capabilities and limitations, and put its key features to good use!

iCloud is a simple idea in theory—access to all your data on all your devices, via the cloud—that can become complicated when put into practice. Instead of wasting time fiddling with iCloud, when there are many other more important things to be done with the information it contains, learn how to minimize frustrations with Take Control of iCloud, Sixth Edition!

Whether you want a quick tip or a deep dive into the inner workings of iCloud, you’ll find what you need in this best-selling book by Mac expert Joe Kissell. Start by learning what iCloud can do, how it differs from other cloud services, and how best to set it up on Macs, iOS devices, Apple TVs, and Windows-based PCs.

Then, move on to finding out the key aspects—and hidden gotchas—of iCloud’s core features, including:

  • Photo features: iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Family Sharing
  • iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library
  • iCloud Drive
  • Mail and Mail Drop
  • Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Notes
  • iCloud Keychain
  • the iCloud website
  • Location features: Find My iPhone, Find My Mac, and Find My Friends
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Activation lock
  • Back to My Mac
  • Backing up and restoring data

Joe also looks at what has changed in iCloud with the release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11, including new abilities to share storage space with family members using iCloud Family Sharing, sync your People album across devices with iCloud Photo Library, and sync data from additional Apple apps like Health and Siri. Joe explains the new Files app (which replaces the iCloud Drive app on iOS), and important changes to two-factor authentication rules and Activation Lock.

Although iCloud changed very little in the transition from High Sierra to Mojave, and from iOS 11 to iOS 12, one significant difference is that support for Back to My Mac was removed. We plan to release a free, minor update to this book later in 2018 to cover that and a few other small changes.

What's New

What’s New in the Sixth Edition

This sixth edition covers changes in macOS 10.13 High Sierra and iOS 11, as well as significant feature changes in the iCloud service itself since the last edition of the book was published in late 2016. Numerous topics were added and, in some cases, rearranged or rewritten—and there were hundreds of changes throughout the book. Here are the highlights:

  • Explained what’s new in iCloud since the last edition of this book; see “iCloud Feature Changes”
  • Expanded the “Major iCloud Features” list to include newly added capabilities
  • Updated “About iCloud Storage” and “Upgrade Your Storage” to reflect the new pricing for the 2 TB tier and the removal of the 1 TB tier
  • Added a topic, “Share Storage Space,” that explains how to share additional (paid) iCloud storage space with your family members
  • Updated “iCloud Photo Library” to mention that it now syncs the People album
  • Replaced the discussion of the iCloud Drive app for iOS with coverage of the new Files app, including how to share files stored in iCloud Drive; see “Use the Files App for iOS”
  • Added topics to cover new types of data you can now (or soon) sync via iCloud; see “Sync Health and Siri” and “Sync Messages”
  • Brought the information in “Work with iCloud Keychain” up to date with the latest setup and usage instructions, including how to use credentials from iCloud Keychain in apps other than Safari
  • Added AirPods to the list of devices you can find with “Find My Nouns” and mentioned that you can use iCloud to pair them, and then play sound to them, from your Apple TV in “Set Up iCloud Account Features”
  • Updated “Use Two-factor Authentication” and “Use App-specific Passwords” to cover recent changes in Apple’s policies for using two-factor authentication
  • Changed “Check Activation Lock” to explain the new procedure that’s now required to do this

What are the software and hardware requirements for this ebook?

For the most part, this book assumes your operating system(s) are macOS 10.13 High Sierra, iOS 11 or later, Windows 10 or later, and Apple TV software version 7.2.1 or later (fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K). Although it occasionally calls attention to differences in operating systems, it doesn’t provide detailed instructions for using iCloud with older software.

Reader Comments

“I just read Take Control of iCloud cover to cover, and it helped me sort out several problems and clear up my confusion on how iCloud works with my iMac, MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. Your book has helped me get more out of my devices, and I can see it’ll make my life easier. Thanks for a job very well done!” —Andy Staab

“Brilliant and concise information on using current iCloud systems. I love Take Control books—they teach me how to make the most of my Apple stuff in the real world.” —Brian Murray

“As someone who hadn’t invested a lot of time in setting up iCloud before, I found this book very informative—particularly the information about managing multiple iCloud accounts and the Photos section. Thanks!” —Kelly

Update Plans

September 17, 2018—Although iCloud changed very little in the transition from High Sierra to Mojave, and from iOS 11 to iOS 12, one significant difference is that support for Back to My Mac was removed. We plan to release a free, minor update to this book later in 2018 to cover that and a few other small changes.

Posted by Joe Kissell

  1. Find My AirPod Added to Find My iPhone

    Because Apple’s new wireless AirPod earbuds lack cabling, they are easy to misplace. Although the best method for keeping track of them may be to place them in their charging case whenever you remove them from your ears, it’s safe to say that many people aren’t going to do that, or even if they do, they’ll lose the case.

    To solve this problem, with the release of iOS 10.3, Apple has added AirPods to the list of devices that you can track using Find My iPhone. You can see them on a map and make a sound play on both your AirPods or just one — just one is helpful if you’ve lost only one. If your AirPods are out of range of their paired iOS device, you’ll get information about where and when they were last within range. You can search from the Find My iPhone iOS app or from Find My iPhone on the iCloud Web site.

    Note that you must set up Find My iPhone before your AirPods go missing. Read the TidBITS article, Setting Up and Using Find My iPhone, for help.

    For more information, see Apple’s support article, If your AirPods are missing.

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.