Why use iCloud?

February 6, 2012

Recently Apple announced a record net profit of $13 billion for the last quarter of 2011 by selling 37 million iPhones and 15.4 million iPads – nearly all these devices will be signed up to iCloud by their owners. If you have upgraded your software to iOS 5 and signed up for iCloud your phone numbers, records of your calls, photographs and personal videos will be stored in the iCloud data bank some 4,000 miles away from the UK – in North Carolina to be exact. Interestingly, this data bank is estimated to use up to 100MW of electricity – the same as 200,000 UK homes.

When you run iOS5 for the first time, you are asked whether you want to use iCloud. The vast majority of you do and this means your data- previously backed up only on your own computer – will go to Apple’s data centre. Apple reasons this frees your device from having to be synched to a Mac or PC. If you are an iFan and have multiple Apple devices iCloud will sync them all to a single online profile held in their centre.

Apple tells us that iCloud automatically and securely stores your content so it’s always available to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It gives you access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more from whichever device you happen to be using. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required- iCloud does it all for you. When you sign up for iCloud, you will automatically get 5GB of free storage.

iCloud is easy to use, and setting it up is no exception. It takes only a few steps before all your important stuff is up to date on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. If you need step by step help go to Apple.com and click on ‘how to set up iCloud’, then follow their onscreen instructions. For those of you who have not already been tempted to join iCloud the latest technology for simpler printing might just tip the balance.

Simpler printing means no more cables as cloud printing becomes mainstream, allowing you to print straight from your iPhone, iPad or laptop to your chosen printer, as well as accessing apps such as Facebook on your printer via the web. This means you will be able to print from any device, from anywhere in the world, using the printer’s email address. You could print photos directly from Facebook without turning on your computer. You can print from any device with an Internet connection, without cables. Unfortunately, you will need to upgrade to a cloud printer and these start at around £100.

Cloud Ready Printers

Cloud Ready printers are a new generation of printers with native support for connecting to cloud print services. A Cloud Ready printer has no need for a PC connection of any kind or for a print driver. The printer is simply registered with one or more cloud print services and awaits print jobs. Cloud printing has tremendous benefits and  given the rapid shift to cloud-based apps, data storage and  mobile computing – will increasingly be in demand.  HP has released its Cloud Ready ePrint Line that can be connected with Google Cloud Print. Watch this space as we believe that more Cloud Ready printers will be released in the coming months.


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