Posted on 25 February 2013


iCloud can be used for two things:

  1. syncing between different devices
  2. making backups of iOS devices

These are two different things: you can sync an app but also back it up at the same time.

iCloud Sync

You have unlimited sync space on iCloud to sync between all your devices ( (like iphone, ipad, mac and pc).

  • Contacts are synced with iCloud and can be read from http://www.iCloud.com with my appstore login.
  • Pictures I make are synced with iCloud photostream, over WIFI. It’s nice but it’s limited. See more below.
  • Notes only work when I make a @me.com e-mail account.
  • Safari Bookmarks, open tabs and the are not visible on icloud.com but it’s a great way to sync the Safari experience other iOS 6.1 or  OS 10.8 devices. I have not yet tested this with safari on windows because I was already using Google Chrome for it’s syncing capabilities.
  • Documents can also be synced but this is app-dependent. So far, I have not tested this yet.
  • FindMyIphone. great tool but not good enough, see here for more!
  • Music seems to sync only the music I bought on iTunes. My own music only get synced only when I buy a $ 25/year subscription to iTunes Match.
  • Video’s and Movie’s can’t be synced over iCloud.

So while this system is really nice for contacts and bookmarks, it is not great for my music and movies. For those I’ll still need iTunes sync.

iCloud Backup

You get 5 GB of free backup space to backup all iOS devices. On each iOS device you can select which apps you want to backup. This works great to restore all your stuff when the phone is lost or broken.

iCloud backup only works when the phone is connected to a power source. So if use your computer regularly to charge or sync your iPhone, you might as well set it to backup to iTunes while charging.

Camera roll

It’s also possible to include the Camera Roll in the iCloud backup. But your free 5 GB of space will be gone soon. You can buy additional space or just disable the camera roll. Use the photostream option for that (these 1000 pictures are not included in the 5GB limit), with the risk of losing your homevideo’s. Or just wait for the ‘your icloud storage is almost full’ warning and then backup your camera roll to a computer.


I tested restoring and it works nicely, only it doesn’t restore your music and video’s, but they are in my itunes library so it’s not a huge problem. But it is annoying however, as this means I still need my computer to restore the phone completely. So I could have made the full backup locally instead of iCloud anyway!

The bad thing is that it doesn’t restore my dictaphone recordings!!!

Another problem is that it’s not a good idea ever to change your Apple ID: this will give trouble with restoring your apps and the data for those apps. I had to enter all my credentials again…


Security problem!!

Update 23/3/14:

It doesn’t help to change your username and/or password!!!! All your devices will still have access to your iCloud. They might ask for a password but if you press cancel it will keep working anyway!!!

They will keep syncing your safari bookmarks and history. It even keeps making iCloud backups and help you find your phone/mac, without asking for new credentials!!! (I didn’t test contacts etc as I don’t use them with iCloud).

And keeps pushing your pictures to photostream too. This can get you in real trouble: say that you have given one of your old devices to a boy-/girlfriend and the relationship ends. So you change your iCloud password and think they are out of your life. NOT: they will be able to see all the pictures you take. This is a nightmare? What if you sell your phone to your father-in-law? And the next night you get drunk with his daughter and…. Well: that IS a nightmare!

note: only Imessage and Facetime ask for the new credentials before they do their thing.

Posted in: Iphone