iCloud is one of the key features connecting your different iOS devices. Not only does it allow you to backup and restore your iPad without plugging it into your PC, you can access the same notes, calendars, reminders and contacts from your iPhone, iPad or the web browser on your laptop.
You can also share documents in the iWork suite and share photos via Photo Stream. Normally, you would set up iCloud when setting up your iPad, but if you skipped that step, you can set up iCloud at any time.
- Go into the iPad’s settings (it’s the icon that looks gears turning).
- Scroll down the left side menu, locate iCloud and tap on it.
- If iCloud is already setup, you will see your Apple ID next to Account. Otherwise, tap on Account and set up iCloud be typing in your Apple ID and password. You will also be able to choose an email address for your iCloud email account.
Here are a few features of iCloud. Features that are on will show up with a green switch. You can turn features on by simply tapping the switch.
- Mail. If you chose an email address for your iCloud account, this will turn the iCloud mail on for your iPad. With this turned on, you can read iCloud email through the Mail app. You can verify whether or not an email address has been set up by tapping on Account. Note: Even though your Apple ID may be your email address, iCloud email is different from your Apple ID. Your iCloud email address will end in “@ “.
- Contacts. Your contacts list will be stored on iCloud.com, and if you have Contacts turned on for any other iOS devices (iPhone, etc.), it will sync your contacts list between devices.
- Calenders. The calendar will let you mark events and meetings and keep them in sync across your devices. You can even set up meetings using Siri.
- Safari. Turning on Safari in iCloud will let you open up a web page on your iPad and then move to another device like your laptop or iPhone and easily open up the same page.
- Notes. The notes app is a great way to share information between devices. You can set up multiple notes, and when this is turned on, you can access notes from as well as on other devices.
- Keychain. One of the newer features of iCloud is the ability to store your passwords and credit cards in the cloud, making it easier to sign in to your accounts regardless of device. If you choose to turn this feature on, you may have to verify access on your other devices, so make sure you have your iPhone and any other device connected to Keychain ready.
- Photos. Photo Stream is a great way to share photos with your friends and family. It will also keep your most recent photos synced between your iOS devices. How to Create a Shared Photo Stream.
- Documents & Data. A key feature of iCloud is the ability to share information between devices. In this setting, you can choose whether or not the iPad uses iCloud to store documents on the Internet. If you want to keep your documents private, you can turn this setting off. You can also choose specific apps to share data with iCloud, though the app must support iCloud sharing.
- Find My iPad. A key feature of iCloud, Find My iPad will allow you to (1) locate your iPad via GPS or Location Services, (2) Play a sound on the iPad, which is useful if you are trying to locate it within your house, (3) turn on Lost mode, which will lock your iPad, and (4) erase all the data on your iPad.
- Storage and Backup. Another key feature of iCloud is the ability to backup the data on your iPad. Going into this setting will let you set up the automatic backup, which happens when you plug your iPad in to recharge it. You can also manually backup your iPad, which is a good idea if you are just now turning on backups. When you buy a new iPad or if you need to restore the current iPad to factory default, you will be prompted on whether or not you want to restore from a backup when setting up the iPad.