If you’ve ever owned an Apple device for any period of time (and we’re guessing, because you’re reading AppleMagazine today, you probably have) the chances are you’re familiar with how iCloud works. It’s Apple’s content storage and syncing service, similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. What you mightn’t know just yet, however, is that the Cupertino company is planning to bolster its subscription service this September with the launch of iCloud+, first announced at this year’s WWDC in June. The company confirmed that it would roll out the new service alongside iOS 15, macOS Monterey, and iPadOS 15, and though it won’t be the same all-bells, all-whistles launch as we’ve seen with Apple Arcade and Apple TV+, its new features could significantly improve the way you use your iPhone and Mac for work and play.
What’s perhaps most important to note about the launch is that, unlike other paid services from the company, iCloud+ doesn’t exactly change the way you use iCloud, and the best part is that it won’t cost a penny more. Rather than being a premium add-on, it’s included for free for anyone who’s already paying for iCloud storage, above the free tier, which has been limited to five gigabytes of space since launch. iCloud+ is effectively a new name for the paid tier of the service but introduces a number of features you’ll love. Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and iCloud Private Relay are all coming at no extra cost. It will also be possible to add custom domain names to your iCloud Mail accounts, meaning iCloud could become even more popular in the business community as consumers look to move away from services like Google G Suite and Microsoft 365 for something more secure.
If you’re already a paying iCloud customer, or you’re part of the Apple One subscription service, which includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple News+ for one monthly fee, you’ll be moved over to iCloud+ when the service officially launches in the next few weeks. The service offers “everything you love about iCloud, with some great new features,” and if you’re looking to take advantage of them, you might find that it’s more affordable than you first thought. Indeed, upgrading to a 50GB package will set you back just $0.99 per month, whilst 200GB costs $2.99 per month, and two terabytes of space can be purchased for $9.99. Space can be shared between family members if you’re part of Apple Family Sharing, and you can save by subscribing annually rather than monthly. It’s also worth noting that Apple will still offer all users 5G of free storage at no cost, but you won’t gain access to new iCloud+-exclusive features, so it’s worth paying the nominal fees.
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