Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review: iCloud Standard Guide

Got a Mac or a Windows PC, an iPad, iPhone, and/or iPod touch and want to learn how to share content between them so it's automatically updated no matter which of these devices you edit them in? Are you new to iCloud and anxious to learn how to use it, and looking for a good, thorough, quick-start guide? Look no further than the iCloud Standard Guide, written by Andri Yadi and Fauzan Alfi.

First, this book walks you through installing iCloud on Macs, iOS devices (iPads, iPhones,and iPod touches), and Windows PCs. Then you learn how to work with iCloud apps such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and iWork (Pages for print documents, Keynote for slideshow presentations, and Numbers for spreadsheets), and edit and update content created in all these apps across devices. Apple allows third-party apps to use the feature Documents to the Cloud for saving documents; which are uploaded to the cloud and downloaded to your devices. To see what data and documents are stored on your iCloud account, you can log into iCloud Developer and click on the Documents icon. You also learn how to manage photos with iPhoto and Photo Stream, and iTunes to purchase movies and music, and distribute them throughout all your devices; and do the same with instant messages, notes, and reminders. Entire chapters are devoted to syncing your content with iCloud, and backing up your devices to iCloud; as well as using iCloud with OSX. There is also a chapter on how to use iCloud with Windows.

Perhaps one of the coolest things about this book is learning how to use Find My iPhone, which enables you to locate your iOS device on a map if it gets lost or stolen, and configure it on iOS devices. The Mac has a similar service called Find My Mac, which you also learn how to set up and use. I especially liked how there is a section on how to find your Apple devices on a map using Location Services once Find My iPhone or Find My Mac is set up. This section includes information on how to remotely lock your lost device with another device using a four-digit passcode, so if a thief or anyone else picks the lost device up, they will be unable to use it unless they type in this passcode.

Another cool thing this book teaches you is how find your friends on a map using Location Services using the app Find Your Friends. You can enable them to be show up on a map permanently, or invite them to show up on a map for a specific time frame. Once this time frame expires, they disappear from the map. For those who feel leery about having their whereabouts monitored, know that if anyone wants to track you either way, they must have your permission first.

I found the iCloud Standard Guide informative, detailed, and well written. It makes a very good quick-start book, and I would definitely recommend it to those new to iCloud.

The iCloud Standard Guide is published by Packt Publishing.

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