What the hell is “the cloud”? A basic guide without the tech talk

As I sat in a meeting with the folks at Apple last week – one thing became abundantly clear… despite all my years working in the digital realm – I still had no clue what this damn iCloud thing was. I often make sarcastic jokes when something goes missing that it’s “in the cloud” – but despite thinking I was hilariously funny (on the inside, of course), I didn’t really know what I was going on about.

But here it is. In the simplest of terms possible.

The iCloud is legitimately a back-up of everything on your Apple device. If you have enough storage (more on that later) – then when you plug in your phone at night and turn it off, it will do a back-up of ALL your data. Think of it like a hard drive. Except that rather than putting all your crap on a physical hard-drive that you lug around with you, you’re storing it all on an online hard-drive. You don’t know where it’s located or how they do it – but who really cares. The important thing is that it’s all backed up good and proper.

Now the slightly confusing thing to get your head around (but is like a lightbulb moment when it hits home) is that this back-up is connected to your Apple login. So while you see it as a backup of your physical phone, the iCloud powers-that-be see it as a backup of everything connected to your Apple login. Which means… if you happen to drop your phone down the toilet on a Saturday night, it ain’t no issue (apart from having to fork out the $ to get a new phone). All you’ve got to do is sign in to your Apple account and “the cloud” will do the rest.

So just going to say this very slowly one more time… (because this is what I made the Apple people do for me… and now I get it! 10 years on from my first iPhone – and I’m all about the cloud…) THE CLOUD IS A DIRECT REFLECTION OF WHAT WAS ON YOUR PHONE THE LAST TIME YOU BACKED UP. Don’t go popping things in the cloud and then deleting them on your phone. As soon as you do your next back-up, it’ll be gone. Got it? Good, moving on…

There’s 3 different storage plans with iCloud. If you take no pictures, have no videos, and basically don’t like apps – while you probably have the most boring phone going around, you also have free storage in Apple’s cloud. Go you. For the rest of us, there’s some cheap as chips alternatives… I’ve popped them below:

5GB: Free
50GB: $1.49 per month (I use to be on this – before I started taking about 200+ shots per day on sunrises, breakfasts, what I’m wearing, what my friend’s wearing…)
200GB: $4.49 per month (I’m on this now. It’s the bomb. And I am backed up and good to go – aint no Saturday night toilet ever going to stop me now…)
2TB: $14.99 per month (You be BIG TIME if you’re needing this one. While I don’t need it, I think it’d be cool to have so much stuff on my phone that I need 2TB. That’s like space for a lifetime of avocado toast shots right there…)

Now big apologies if you are some big tech genius who’s reading this going “d’uh” – but… I know there are still many of us out there that are popping things in that old cloud without really any clue as to what’s going on up there. For anyone wanting to ask any questions beyond this beginner’s guide – then I’m probably not the right person to ask. This is about as far as I go with my iCloud knowledge – but I reckon I know someone who can help. Google. He’s my constant little friend for pretty much everything.

* Disclaimer – I know not everybody has an iPhone – but being an Apple gal, I have absolutely no idea if Androids have a similar cloud thing happening. Look, I’m feeling proud of myself for nailing this one… Give me another 10 years and I’ll come back to you on that one…

Main image: Roxy Yang

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