The thing that amazes me the most is how many people that own iPhones I can casually ask whether they have enabled iCloud and they say they haven’t. Sometimes they are not even sure what iCloud is. iCloud is Apple’s free service for storing backups of your stuff online. By enabling it you save the space on your hard drive and you no longer have to worry about what happens if your iPhone dies. So far I’ve had two die on me and after signing into iCloud it took an hour to download all my data and then it was as if my entire phone was restored from the dead. No extra time spent configuring or do anything else.
Soon additional features will be added to iCloud. You’ll soon be able to use it to share photo albums and also to sync the tabs in your web browser between your desktop and iPad or iPhone. They are also adding more features for saving and synchronizing documents. If you are not using iCloud you are missing one of the most delightful perks of using a Mac.
The one thing that Apple has yet to do is enable any kind of streaming of iTunes music on the iPhone. However this void has been filled by cloud music services like Spotify. If you are like me and do not subscribe to Spotify or iTunes Match, Amazon just came out with its own iOS app. With it you can store your music collection in their cloud and then stream it to your iPhone from anywhere. Extremely handy if you are running out of space or have a large music collection.
The only downside to the cloud is most of the services are freemium. In my case this means I have content stored across various cloud providers based on features. So far none of the providers have endeavored to provide a comprehensive set of features (music play/streaming, full computer backup, mobile backup, etc.) so my loyalties are divided. If you want to try out cloud services I suggest Dropbox, Amazon Music, and Google.