iCloud: How Your MacBook and iPad Work Together

iCloud is Appleā€™s cloud service that allows you to connect your new Macintosh laptop computer and your iPad in may ways.  This article will examine some of the features of iCloud.  For an in-depth look, check out the iCloud User Guide at this Apple Support Site.

The first step for setting up your iCloud is to create an Apple ID. If you do not have one, please check out this St. Vrain Valley School District Technology Services Support Site about Apple IDs.

The next step is to access your iCloud settings on your MacBook laptop computer. First, click on System Preferences,  then choose Apple ID in the upper right of the System Preferences pane.

Access your iCloud settings in the Apple ID System Preference.

Once inside the Apple ID system preference pane, select the iCloud tab to access your iCloud settings. Note that an Apple iCloud Account only receives 5 GB of free cloud storage. It will be important to selectively choose what information is saved to your iCloud Storage.

Note: An Apple iCloud Account only receives 5 GB of free cloud storage.

Within the iCloud settings you can choose the Apple Apps that use your iCloud account and what is stored in your iCloud Drive. By selecting the box to the left of the application, you are indicating you would like that program to use a portion of your iCloud Storage to share information with the similar app on your iPad.

Below is a brief description of each iCloud setting with a suggestion of whether to enable or disable it.

iCloud Drive. This selection allows your apps to store documents and data within your iCloud Storage. You can access these files from a Finder window on your MacBook, from the Files app on your iPad, or from www.icloud.com. iCloud Drive is very convenient, but because of the 5 GB free storage limit, it is important to be selective with what is stored. Click the Options… button next to iCloud Drive, then select the box to the left of the application or folder you want to store information for in your iCloud Storage.

Select the box to the left of the application or folder you want to store information for in your iCloud Storage.

To upload a file to your iCloud Drive from your computer, open a Finder window and drag and drop the file into the iCloud Drive folder.

To open that same file on your iPad, open the Files app than select the file to open it in the most appropriate app.

Additionally, you can access your Google Drive from within the Files app on your iPad. Learn more about the Files app from this Apple Support Site.

06-ApplePhotos

Photos. Checking this box enables your pictures and videos from your MacBook and iPad to be accessible in your iCloud Storage. This is the quickest way to fill up your iCloud Storage. Photos and videos take up a lot of space. It is NOT recommended to enable Apple Photos.

Mail. The district recommends using a Web browser on your computer and the Gmail app on your iPad to access your district email. It is NOT recommended to enable Apple Mail, unless you decide to set up your district email within your Mail app.

Contacts. This application is a very handy feature if you plan on using the Contacts app on your iPad or iPhone. It allows you to have contact information synchronized on all of your devices. Additionally, Contacts does not take up that much storage space. We do recommend enabling the Apple Contacts app.

Calendar. Similar to the Mail app, the district recommends using a Web browser on your computer and the Google Calendar app on your iPad to access your district calendar. It is NOT recommended to enable Apple Calendar, unless you decide to set up your district calendar within your Calendar app.

Safari. If you use Apple Safari for your main Web browser, then this is a good choice to enable. This will allow you to synchronize your Web browser and bookmarks between devices. Very similar to logging into Google Chrome with your district account. We only recommend enabling the Apple Safari app if it is your main Web browser.

Reminders. This allows you to create a reminder on one device, and check it off or be reminded of it on another device. It is a wonderful tool for creating To-Do lists. For more information about Reminders, check out this Apple Support Site. We do recommend enabling the Apple Reminders app.

Notes. If you plan to take notes on your iPad or MacBook laptop computer, this is a very nice application to utilize to share those notes between devices. Check out this Apple Support Site for more information about Apple Notes. We do recommend enabling the Apple Notes app.

Keychain. This application is used to keep your passwords and other secure information updated amongst devices. For an in-depth look at Apple Keychain and how to set it up, check out this Apple Support Site. We do recommend enabling the Apple Keychain app.

Find My. This feature takes up very little space and is highly recommended. Find My allows you to locate your MacBook laptop computer, iPad or any other Apple device, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. To learn how to set up your Find My app with your devices, check out this Apple Support Site. We highly recommend enabling the Apple Find My app.