iCloud is Apple’s celebrated cloud service, where you can store documents and access them from any of your Apple devices, and also from any web-connected gadget using a web browser. You can also keep data such as notes and photographs synced between your Mac, iPad and iPhone. With the release of the new operating systems this autumn, iCloud gains a few new features.
Forgetting your Apple ID password can be a real pain, so Apple is introducing Account Recovery as a new way of getting back into your account. You can add people you trust to your iCloud as Recovery Contacts. If you ever forget your password, you can call one of these contacts and they can get a six-digit code which lets you back into your Apple account. These Recovery Contacts don’t get access to your data or personal information; they’re there purely to deliver the recovery code, should you need it.
Another new feature is iCloud’s Digital Legacy program. This allows you to pass on your digital information when you die. You simply add Legacy Contacts to your account, and when you eventually pass, they can request access to your Apple ID directly through Apple. A copy of your death certificate is required, so there’s no danger of their getting into your account while you’re still alive. As well as access to your digital data, the passcode lock on your Apple devices are deactivated, so you can pass them on to friends and relatives.
As you know, when you open an Apple ID you get 5GB of iCloud storage for free, and can pay a monthly fee for more space if you need it. Some great new features are coming to this paid-for service, which has been renamed iCloud+. To preserve your privacy online when using public WiFi services, a new feature called Private Relay encrypts any information sent from your device and sent through two separate Internet relays. No one – including Apple – can see who you are and what sites you’re visiting.
If you’re reluctant to send out your personal email address, Hide My Email instead shares a unique email address that forwards emails to your personal inbox. If, for example, you want to enter a competition online but don’t want the spam that’s likely to result, use Hide My Email and when the competition is over, just delete the email address.
If you use Apple Home to connect security cameras to your iCloud, you can now use an unlimited number, and the video footage generated doesn’t count against your iCloud storage.
These new features come to iCloud this autumn. Prices for the iCloud subscription service remain the same.