Setting Up iCloud for the First Time

iCloud may be a revelation, or just Apple getting with the times.  Now that people are flooding themselves with so much music and media they do not always want to have to find adequate storage space for the diversity they want, which is why they have turned to subscription services like Pandora and Netflix and cloud storage systems that allow them to save their content on a foreign server.  This is partially a clever ploy on the side of large media corporations to cut down on piracy, but it has been responded to well since it makes casual consumption even easier.  iCloud dominated the iOS 5 announcement, and now that it is standard many people are trying to get it up and running as quickly as possible so they can back up their iTunes content and get moving with the same library on their several iDevices.  Here is a quick overview and step by step guide on how to get iCloud set up on your device.

The basics of setting up iCloud are established either when you start out with your new iPhone or when you update the iOS.  iCloud is a feature of the iOS 5 and therefore is only available when you have the iOS 5 firmware established on the device, and the device must be compatible with this iOS update.  If so you need to select to turn on iCloud when you are first setting things up.

When you are going through the set up windows, which establishes things like whether or not you want to use location features and where you agree to the Terms and Conditions, you will go through a place where you will either Sign In With An Apple ID that is existing or Create a Free Apple ID.  You will need this for iCloud and you really cannot go without it.  iCloud is a remote storage service and runs through your Apple ID account, and you will also need this for both iTunes and App Store.  This should be the first order of business and make sure that the Apple ID is up and running.  Later you will likely have to verify the Apple ID if it is new or you are making any changes in it, and this will be done by responding to an email that will be sent to you.

Along with these set up questions will be one for Set Up iCloud, and it will ask you to choose between “Use iCloud” and “Don’t Use iCloud.”  You will obviously need to select Use iCloud right from the start and then hit Next, which will allow you to then continue with the set up process.  You will next be asked if you want to back up your iPhone on iCloud daily or back up on your computer, which is one of the possible options for using iCloud.  This should really be determined by what you want to get out of iCloud usage and if you use your home computer often enough for back up.

Once you are already into the device go into Settings and then go down to iCloud, which is right below General in the third block of options from the top.  If you have not yet verified your Apple ID as mentioned before you will need to go into your email and do that, and it will be indicating that your account has not yet been verified.  Once you do this you can choose to Check Email and it will make sure that your Apple ID account has now been verified for setting up iCloud.

Once you do this it will begin asking you a series of different questions related to the specifics of how you want to use iCloud.  The first will be whether or not you want to merge with iCloud, meaning your contacts and content on your iPhone will go ahead and sync up to your remote iCloud storage.  Next it will ask, like most apps do, if iCloud can use your location for its use.  Once these questions are done you will have the standard settings interface available to you.

It is here that you will be able to make changes to your iCloud service.  You will have your Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Bookmarks all set for iCloud as a default, and you can also choose to have your Mail and Notes merged as well.  Photo Stream is an option here for using your Photos section in an iCloud set up, and Find My iPhone will also be set to “On” through iCloud.

Storage & Backup will give you the basic information about your iCloud account that will be pertinent to average use.  IT will show how much storage you have to start with, which will be 5 GB for everyone who is not purchasing additional storage space from Apple.  It will then tell you how much storage space you have available, and then the Manage Storage or Buy More Storage options will allow you to purchase additional space.  You can also select iCloud Backup to be turned on, which will set up an automatic back up of several iPhone content elements when you connect to Wi-Fi.

About shaneburley