Do you have an iCloud plan? Among the new features announced during WWDC 2021 was the arrival of a new service that seeks to protect your privacy: iCloud+ (or iCloud Plus). The package includes new premium features at no additional cost for all iCloud users who are subscribed to a paid plan. Here's what iCloud is all about, the benefits iCloud+ offers, and starting when iCloud+ will be available.
If you have an Apple device, you're probably familiar with iCloud. It's Apple's cloud storage system that synchronizes your content - apps and services - with all your devices. So you can access any of them: your iCloud Drive files, applications such as Photos, Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Messages, your Safari bookmarks, and your iCloud Keychain passwords. Among the services offered by Apple's cloud is the ability to create backups, locate your devices, and share storage and purchases (from the iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books) with six people, plus collaborate on documents in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
In addition to iCloud services, iCloud Plus includes new premium features designed to take care of your online privacy through a more secure browsing, email protection and unlimited storage for HomeKit system cameras. Below, we explain in more detail what each of these services is all about.
Private Relay works as an integrated VPN - although Apple has not named it so. In practice, this service encrypts your device traffic automatically so that no one can intercept it. It then goes through two systems: one that assigns you an anonymized IP address and another that decrypts the web page you want to visit and directs you there. By separating your information as a user and your request, your privacy is protected.
If you don't feel comfortable entering your personal email address into a form, you'll love this solution. Hide My Email takes care of protecting your information, as it proposes unique and random email addresses that forward messages to your real email address. The tool allows you to create and delete as many email addresses as you need, which will be very useful for filtering your emails and avoiding spam. Hide My Email is integrated into your Safari browser, iCloud settings, and Mail app.
Today, users of HomeKit's secure video service need to have a 200GB plan to record video from a single security camera in their home. Now, with iCloud+ they will have unlimited storage and end-to-end encryption, allowing them to connect more cameras through the Home app, and video recording will not affect the available space in the cloud.
If you have a paid iCloud plan, you can enjoy iCloud+ services without paying more. When you create an iCloud account, you receive 5GB of free storage. However, if you consider it too little or want access to iCloud+ features, you have the option to subscribe to one of their storage plans:
While there is no exact date, according to Apple's press release on privacy news, you'll be able to enjoy premium iCloud+ services with the iOS 15 update, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey in the fall of 2021.
Photo: © Apple, CNBC Television.