What else can you do?
iCloud can do much more than backup and restore
Family Sharing allows you to share your apps, iBooks and iTunes downloads with five other people
You could describe iCloud as the hub of your online life, and it’s fair to say that your Mac and iOS devices would not be nearly as flexible or useful without it.
Tracking services like Find My Friends and Find My iPhone (the latter of which can also locate a Mac, iPad or iPod touch) would be a security risk if the data wasn’t transferred securely. That’s why it’s processed by Apple’s servers and only available to those whom you’ve granted access. Invitations and follow requests are sent from one device to another via iCloud, and must be authorised using an Apple ID to secure the system from end to end.
To set up lost device tracking on iOS, go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone (or iPad) and ensure the switch is turned on. Optionally, also enable the Send Last Location feature, which will automatically upload the device’s current position shortly before its battery runs out, which may help to track it if it powers down after being lost. To enable tracking on your Mac, open the iCloud pane in System Preferences and check the box beside Find My Mac.
Your tracked devices appear on a map in your iCloud account at icloud. com/find (accessible on a PC or a Mac), and through the Find My iPhone app for iOS.
The ability to share your apps, iBooks and iTunes purchases with five other people in your family is a relatively recent addition to iCloud. (You might find that content providers have excluded certain items from this benefit, or failed to update usage rights for older items.) The Ask to Buy feature lets parents approve kids’ attempts to buy content, which is paid for using the family organiser’s bank card. Family Sharing also gives you a means to share photos with each other, and to coordinate using a shared calendar.
Once set up in iCloud’s settings, family members can access each other’s purchases alongside their own, in the store apps in iOS and in the iTunes Store on a computer.
If you’ve bought mature content, you can restrict access to it by setting up age restrictions in iTunes > Preferences > Parental (also do this in Settings > General > Restrictions on an iOS device). This merely stops the young downloading inappropriate content. You can hide items from the list using a Mac or iOS device, but this hides them for you too. You can unhide them (in Account > View Account).
Also, Family Sharing is the only way kids under 13 can legitimately have their own Apple ID – so long as it’s set up by a parent or guardian.
Best of the rest
You can access email, calendars, the iWork apps and more from any PC or Mac at icloud.com, and enjoy your iTunes purchases on all your devices. The latter is particularly useful if all your devices aren’t set to automatically download all your purchases – they’re shown in your iTunes library and the Music and Videos apps on iOS, ready to download. With an iTunes Match or Apple Music subscription, even tracks from CDs and other music stores will be accessible on every device.
You can track Macs, as well as iOS devices, through their connections to iCloud.
Family Sharing saves you buying multiple copies of media and apps for different family members.