Apple's iCloud service is just around the corner, and if you plan on using it, you'll want to know whether the freebie 5 gigabytes will be enough, or if you'll need to upgrade to one of Apple's extra paid storage plans. The long and the short of it is that 5GB appears to be more than enough space for users with numerous iOS devices on one account, however some apps could push you past that limit and even get in the way of backups.
I found that out the hard way with Rdio, a subscription music service with an iPhone and iPad app that's able to store music on your device. What it works out toThe more you've invested in Apple's system with multiple iOS devices, and the more you're actually using them, the more storage you'll need in order to use the backup service.
In the test, the culprit was Rdio, a music streaming service that lets you store music locally. The good news is that once the backup is on there, you can selectively choose which application storage chunks to turn on and off, but (and this is a big but) you have to get the backup there in the first place to do that.
One other good bit of news is that existing MobileMe users may have little more wiggle room if they run into similar storage hurdles once iCloud launches.
Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. You’ll run out of free iCloud space especially quickly if you have multiple iOS devices.
Open the Settings app, tap iCloud, and tap Storage & Backup to view how much space you have left in your iCloud account. To use less space for backups, look at the apps in the list under Next Backup Size and disable apps you don’t think need to be backed up. If you have an old device you no longer use and it appears in this list, you can tap it and tap Delete Backup to delete the entire backup.
Install another app like Google+, Dropbox, or Flickr that can automatically back up your photos and have the app start backing up your photos.
You may also want to disable Camera Roll backups if you do this, as your photos are being backed up to a different service anyway. Tap an app under Documents & Data on the Manage Storage screen to view the files taking up space. I ignored the omission in that related "No iCloud isn't backing them up" article, but this article is brand new. Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site. Sure, the Photos apps for iOS and OS X are fast, convenient, and pack a lot of features, but there might come a time when you don't have either available to you.
I upgraded my wife's iPhoto library (1000 photos) to Photos without a problem on her account on my iMac. While the simplest solution is to purchase more storage, there are plenty of other options for the more thrifty minded. Backup - While this is an easy way to back up your iPhone every night when you plug it in, it can take up a lot of storage (easily more than your 5 free gigs if you have a large photo library, movies and music).
Advanced - The only setting here that you might want to change is the duration that deleted mail is kept. So while it is simple and cheap to just upgrade your storage capacity to 50 GB, if you just want to use your iCloud on occasion to transfer a document or some photos, it is certainly doable without spending any extra money. It’s also shown in iCloud preferences on iOS and OS X devices and in a number of places like Messages, Contacts and Mail and other apps that use profile pictures. 2) Tap your iCloud account name at the top and provide your Apple ID password, if asked to. 4) Tap Take Photo if you wish to take a profile picture with your iOS’s device iSight or Face Time camera or hit Choose Photo to select an image from your photo library. 5) Using the pinch-zoom gesture, zoom in the image and drag it around to crop the shot perfectly.
3) Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner and then tap Edit below the profile image on your contact card.
The profile picture for your OS X user account is adjustable separately of, and has nothing to do with your iCloud profile image.


Tip: Or, drag an image file from the Finder and drop it onto the preview to instantly update your iCloud profile image. I’m going to select a photo in my iCloud Photo Library of myself wearing shades that I took recently on my iPhone 6s. 3) Using the slider at the bottom of the image, resize and reposition the photo to achieve that perfect crop.
Tip: To liven up your iCloud profile image, apply Photo Booth-provided image effects by clicking the icon next to the zoom controls. Now select if you wish to use this image as the profile photo on your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.
Telling Photo Booth to update the picture on your contact card will immediately set it as your new iCloud profile photo everywhere. Tip: To show profile pictures in Mail, select “Show contact photos in the message list” in Mail > Preferences > Viewing.
2) Click your profile name in the upper right corner of the window and select iCloud Settings in the pop-up menu. 3) Now click the image preview next to your Apple ID name and click Choose Photo, then select an image file on your computer to use as the new iCloud profile photo.
Tip: You can also drag a file from the Finder containing a new photo and drop it into the photo editing pane. 4) Resize the photo by dragging the slider below the image, crop it by dragging the preview image to bring a different part into the frame or rotate the photo by clicking the arrow in its upper right corner.
Tip: To remove the iCloud profile photo and replace it with a generic mugshot, move the pointer over the preview image and click the Remove icon next to it. CNET kicks the tires to see if that's enough for an iPhone and an iPad on the same account.
As someone with multiple iOS devices who squeezes them to their very fullest, I wanted to see where I'd stand. Having that app on both devices meant it alone would take up more than 60 percent of my iCloud storage set aside for backups. Instead, it's a mix of backing up what you have on each iOS device, as well as making sure what's on device A ends up on B, C, D, etc. Take for instance the beta version of iOS 5 we have running on an iPhone 4 here in the office. There's no option when trying to start that first backup to make those decisions, short of doing a hunt on your iOS device for apps that may be storage hogs.
Device backups, photos, documents, iCloud email, and other bits of data all share that space. For example, you might disable backups for apps like Pocket, Twitter, and Evernote because those apps automatically sync their data online anyway. By default, iOS 7 uses both Photo Stream to sync the most 1000 recent photos between all your devices and also backs up your device’s Camera Roll, which contains any photos stored locally.
It will back up your photos to a separate pool of storage — your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Flickr storage. They count toward your iCloud storage, so you may want to delete any files you don’t care about. If it’s not set up, you can visit the iCloud website, open the Mail app in your browser, and delete emails with the web interface. Apple currently offers three paid plans — an additional 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year, or 50 GB for $100 per year.
That's when iCloud Photo Library being part of iCloud really comes in handy — because you can access everything you have online straight from any web browser you have available to you.
Images for Mac user accounts identify OS X users on the login and boot screen, in the Fast User Switching menu and the System Preferences > User & Groups preference pane. And with a beta version of iCloud up and running for developers to kick the tires on, I did just that.
Worse yet, it meant I couldn't even start an iCloud backup on the second device I wanted to back up without first jumping to one of the paid plans.


That same problem was compounded when backing up both the iPhone and iPad, which had Rdio installed with that same massive chunk of storage.
And in trying to back up the second device, I was met with an out of space message that prohibited me from backing anything up.
Like on Google's Android, Apple's provided a storage manager with iOS 5 that breaks down how much space each app is taking up on your device, while providing a way to delete it on the spot.My solution was to ditch whatever music was stored on Rdio within the app itself, do my backup to iCloud, turn the Rdio app backups off, then switch the Rdio app's download back on. You may disable Camera Roll backups if you’re using another method to back up your photos. This is a confusing system, which is why Apple has announced they’re simplifying things with a single iCloud Photo Library that contains all your photos in iOS 8. You’ll have a backup copy of your photos stored online, but you get to keep all that precious iCloud storage for other functions. Be careful when doing this, as you could delete important documents and other files you might want to keep. This is in addition to your 5 GB of free space, so the plans actually give you 15, 25, and 55 GB of storage space. For anybody with a Windows PC (which is a lot of people) it's a no-brainer since the synced photos just show up on your PC without automatically eating your disk space. Computer or iPhone flies out of a window of a plane at 30,000 feet, only to fall into lava? Apple adds additional controls to that system, letting you pick which elements you want synced between each device, right down to the application and its data.
That means I could have close to a dozen separate backups of that iPhone sitting on Apple's servers free of charge.
And on the iPad, I ran into a similar problem with VLC media player, an app that lets you store massive video files, which were getting backed up too.
This wasn't a huge inconvenience, but I had to re-download that music to the app once again, and the operation as a whole is not something I'd imagine most people would be able to figure out how to tweak without a little instruction or hand-holding. When you disable backups for an app, the data will be deleted from your iCloud storage online and won’t be part of future backups. The good news is that with Apple's system, it doesn't really matter if you have one or 1,000 extra apps on your phone, because apps don't count against iCloud's limit. Your replacement iOS gadget just pulls down the backup of that lost device from Apple's servers like it never happened.
However, that was only after I had to selectively leave out certain applications from the backup because they were taking up too much space. That differs from the "it just works" tag line vaunted during the service's introduction in June. Once it's done, your entire photo library will appear and subsequent load times will be much, much faster. Nor do purchased music, books TV shows or photos you've got synced up through the shared Photo Stream Feature. However, some apps with those same types of media content (though not from Apple) can have a bigger storage footprint than others. However it's limited to just 64KB per app, and meant to do things like sync up what page you were on in an e-book, or match up your high score and progress in Angry Birds so that you can pick up what you were doing on one device, back on another. The end result is that a large number of apps can be re-downloaded from Apple's App Store servers, while the data that saves your spot in a separate set of servers only takes up a few megabytes--if that. With the system backups though, Apple can save what can be large chunks of data associated with an application that is not part of that special iCloud storage that syncs between devices.



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