My iPhone for Seniors, Second Edition (2016)
3. Setting Up and Using iCloud and Other Online Accounts
In this chapter, you learn how to connect your iPhone to various types of accounts, such as iCloud and Google, so that apps on your iPhone can access your data stored on the Internet cloud. Topics include the following:
Configuring and using iCloud
Setting up other types of built-in online accounts on your iPhone
Configuring other types of online accounts
Setting how and when your accounts are updated
No iPhone is an island. Connecting your iPhone to the Internet enables you to share and sync a wide variety of content using popular online accounts such as iCloud and Google. Using iCloud, you can put your email, contacts, calendars, photos, and more on the Internet so that multiple devices—most importantly your iPhone—can connect to and use that information. (There’s a lot more you can do with iCloud, too, as you learn throughout this book.) There are lots of other accounts you might also want to use, such as Google for email, calendars, and contacts as well as Facebook for accessing social networks.
You need to configure these accounts on your iPhone to be able to use them; in this chapter, you’ll see sections for several different accounts you might want to use. Of course, you only need to refer to the sections related to the accounts you want to use. You should also understand how you can determine how and when your information is updated along with tasks you might find valuable as you manage the various accounts on your iPhone.
One of the best things about using an iPhone is that you can configure it to use various types of online accounts that offer different types of services and information to you. Here are some of the key getting started terms for this chapter:
• iCloud—This is Apple’s online service that offers lots of great features that you can use for free. It includes email, online photo storage and sharing, backup, calendars, Find My iPhone, and much more. You’ll learn how to set up iCloud on your iPhone in this chapter and will see examples of how you can use it in many others.
• Family Sharing—This Apple service allows you to share content with a group of people. (They don’t actually have to be related to you.) For example, you can share music you download from the iTunes Store with others automatically—when you set them up in your “family” group. It is also free.
• Google account—A Google account is similar to an iCloud account except it is provided by Google instead of Apple. It also offers lots of features, such as email, calendars, and contacts. You can use iCloud and a Google account on your iPhone at the same time.
• Facebook—Facebook is one of the largest social media sites that people and organizations use to share information, events, photos, and more. You can log into your Facebook account on your iPhone and use the Facebook app along with sharing information via that account in a number of apps (such as Photos).
• Push, Fetch, or Manual—Information has to get from your online account onto your iPhone. For example, when someone sends you an email, it actually goes to an email server, which then sends the message to devices that are configured with your email account. You can choose how and when new data is provided to your phone. Push means updates happen in real time; for example, as soon as a new email reaches the server, it is sent directly to your iPhone. Fetch means your phone connects to the servers periodically to retrieve new information. Manual means that new information is only retrieved when you cause it to be, such as by opening the Mail app.
Configuring and Using iCloud
iCloud is a service provided by Apple that provides you with your own storage space on the Internet. You can store content from your computer or devices in your storage space on the cloud, and because it is on the Internet, all your devices are able to access that information at the same time. This means you can easily share your information between your iPhone, a computer, an iPad, and so on, so that the same information and content is available to you no matter which device you are using at any one time.
Although your iPhone can work with many types of online/Internet accounts, iCloud is integrated into the iPhone like no other type of account (not surprising because the iPhone and iCloud are both Apple technology). An iCloud account is really useful in a number of ways. For example, iCloud can be used for the following:
• Family Sharing—With Family Sharing, you can designate up to six people with whom you want to automatically share your iTunes and apps downloads, calendars, reminders, and more.
• Files—iCloud Drive enables you to store your documents and other files on the cloud so that you can seamlessly work with them using different devices.
• Photos—You can store your photos in iCloud to back them up and to make them easy to share.
• Email—An iCloud account includes an @icloud.com email address. You can configure any device to use your iCloud email account, including an iPhone, an iPad, an iPod touch, and a computer.
• Contacts—You can store your contact information in iCloud.
• Calendars—Putting your calendars in iCloud makes it much easier to manage your time.
• Reminders—Through iCloud, you can be reminded of things you need to do or anything else you want to make sure you don’t forget.
• Safari—iCloud can store your bookmarks, letting you easily access the same websites from all your devices. And you can easily access websites currently open on other devices, such as a Mac, on your iPhone.
• Notes—With the Notes app, you can create text notes for many purposes; iCloud enables you to use these notes on any iCloud-enabled device.
• News—iCloud can store information from the News app online, making reading news on multiple devices easier.
• Wallet—The Wallet app stores coupons, tickets, boarding passes, and other documents so you can access them quickly and easily. With iCloud, you can ensure that these documents are available on any iCloud-enabled device.
• Backup—You can back up your iPhone to the cloud so that you can recover your data and your phone’s configuration should something ever happen to it.
• Keychain—The Keychain securely stores sensitive data, such as passwords, so that you can easily use that data without having to remember it.
• Find My iPhone—This service enables you to locate and secure your iPhone and other devices.
You’ll learn about iCloud’s many useful features throughout this book (such as using iCloud with your photos, which is covered in Chapter 14, “Working with Photos and Video You Take with Your iPhone”). The tasks in this chapter show you how to set up and configure the iCloud features you want to use.
Obtaining an iCloud Account
Of course, to use iCloud on your iPhone, you need to have an iCloud account. The good news is that you probably already have one. The other good news is that even if you don’t, obtaining one is simple and free.
If you have any of the following accounts, you already have an iCloud account and are ready to start using iCloud and can skip ahead to the next section:
• iTunes Store—If you’ve ever shopped at the iTunes Store, you created an account with an Apple ID and password. You can use that Apple ID and password to access iCloud.
• Apple Online Store—As with the iTunes Store, if you made purchases from Apple’s online store, you created an account with an Apple ID and password that also enables you to use iCloud.
• Find My iPhone—If you obtained a free Find My iPhone account, you can log in to iCloud using that Apple ID.
During the initial iPhone startup process, you were prompted to sign into or create an iCloud account. If you created one at that time, you are also good to go and can move to the next task.
If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can use your iPhone to create one by performing the following steps:
On the Home screen, tap Settings.
Swipe up the screen and tap iCloud.
Tap Create a new Apple ID.
Provide the information required on the following screens; tap Next to move to the next screen after you’ve entered the required information. You start by entering your birthday.
During the process, you’ll be prompted to use an existing email address or to create a free iCloud email account. You can choose either option. The email address you use becomes your Apple ID that you use to sign into iCloud. If you create a new iCloud email account, you can use that account from any email app on any device, just like other email accounts you have.
You’ll also create a password, set up security questions, enter a rescue email address (optional), choose email updates you want to receive, and agree to license terms. When your account has been created, you’re prompted to enter your password.
After you successfully create your password, you are logged into your iCloud account and might be prompted to merge information already stored on your iPhone, such as Safari bookmarks, onto iCloud. Tap Merge to copy your existing information onto the cloud or Don’t Merge to keep it out of the cloud.
When you’ve worked through merging your information, you see that iCloud tracks the location of your iPhone through the Find My iPhone feature.
Tap OK. You are ready to complete the configuration of your iCloud account, which is covered in the next section.
Multiple iCloud Accounts
You can have more than one iCloud account. However, you can have only one iCloud account active on your iPhone at a time.
Signing Into Your iCloud Account
To be able to use an iCloud account on your iPhone, you need to first sign into your account, and then enable the services you want to use and disable those that you don’t want to use. After iCloud is set up on your iPhone, you rarely need to change your account settings. If you restore your iPhone at some point, you might need to revisit these steps to ensure iCloud remains set up as you want it.
To get started, sign into your iCloud account—if you created your iCloud account on your iPhone, you don’t need to perform these steps because you signed in when you created the account; in that case, skip to the next task.
On the Home screen, tap Settings.
Swipe up the screen and tap iCloud.
Enter your Apple ID. If you see account information instead of the Apple ID field, an iCloud account is already signed into on the iPhone. If it is your account, skip to the next task. If it isn’t your account, swipe up the screen and tap Sign Out; tap Delete to delete various data from your iPhone at the prompts and continue with these steps.
Enter your Apple ID password.
Tap Sign In. You are logged in to your iCloud account.
If prompted to do so, tap Merge to merge existing data, such as Safari bookmarks, already stored on the iPhone onto the cloud.
At the prompt, tap OK indicating that you realize Find My iPhone is enabled. You’re ready to configure the rest of iCloud’s services.
Enabling iCloud to Store Your Information on the Cloud
One of the best things about iCloud is that it stores email, contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, notes, photos, and other data on the cloud so that all your iCloud-enabled devices can access the same information. You can choose the types of data stored on the cloud by performing the following steps:
Move to the iCloud screen by tapping Settings, iCloud. Just below the Storage information are the iCloud data options. Some of these have a right-facing arrow that you tap to configure options, while others have a two-position switch. When a switch is green, it means that switch is turned on and the related data is stored to your iCloud account and kept in sync with the information on the iPhone.
Share and Share Alike
Family Sharing enables you to share iTunes and App Store downloads, reminders, photos, and other information with a group of people. Configuring Family Sharing is explained in “Using Family Share to Share your iTunes Store Content” in Chapter 6, “Downloading Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, and More onto Your iPhone.”
If you don’t want a specific type of data to be stored on the cloud and synced to your iPhone, tap its switch to turn that data off (the switch becomes white instead of green). The types of data that have switches are: Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Notes, News, and Wallet.
When you turn a switch off because you don’t want that information stored on the cloud any more, you might be prompted to keep the associated information on your iPhone or delete it.
If you choose Keep on My iPhone, the information remains on your iPhone but is no longer connected to the cloud; this means any changes you make exist only on the iPhone. If you choose Delete from My iPhone, the information is erased from your iPhone. Whether you choose to keep or delete the information, any information of that type that was previously stored on the cloud remains available there; the delete action only impacts the information stored on the iPhone.
After you’ve configured each data switch on the iCloud screen, you’re ready to configure the rest of the data options, which are explained in the following tasks.
Configuring iCloud Drive
iCloud Drive, which is enabled by default, stores files (such as Pages documents) on the cloud so that you can work with those documents on any device. For example, you can create a letter in Pages on a Mac and then access it on your iPhone to edit it. To configure your iCloud Drive, perform the following steps:
On the iCloud screen in the Settings app, tap iCloud Drive.
To enable your files to be stored in iCloud, set the iCloud Drive switch to on (green).
To show the iCloud Drive icon on the Home screens, set the Show on Home Screen switch to on (green). Using this icon, you can open and view files in folders just like on a computer. If you prefer not to display the icon, your apps can still use the iCloud Drive, you just can’t get to the files stored there without using an app.
Set the switch to off (white) for any apps currently saving data to your iCloud Drive that you don’t want to use your iCloud Drive; set the switch to on (green) for those apps that you do want to use the iCloud Drive to store data.
To prevent file data from being copied to and from the cloud while your iPhone is using a cellular data network, set the Use Cellular Data switch to off (white). If you do turn this off, when your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi network, your documents are synced with the cloud.
Configuring iCloud to Store Photos
Storing your photos on the cloud provides many benefits, not the least of which is that the photos you take with your iPhone are automatically saved on the cloud. You can access photos in iCloud from computers and other iOS devices (such as iPads) and your photos remain available even if something happens to your iPhone, such as you lose it. Using iCloud also makes it easy for you to share your photos with others. To configure your photos to be stored in iCloud, do the following:
On the iCloud screen, tap Photos.
To store your entire photo library on the cloud, set the iCloud Photo Library switch to on (green). This stores all of your photos and video in iCloud, which both protects them by backing them up and makes them accessible on other iOS devices (iPads, iPod touches, and iPhones) and computers, either through an app, such as Apple’s Photos, or via the Web. If you set this switch to off (white), skip to step 4.
Using the iCloud-enabled photo features is explained in detail in Chapter 14.
If you enable the iCloud Photo Library feature, tap Optimize iPhone Storage to keep lower resolution versions of photos and videos on your iPhone (this means the file sizes are smaller so that you can store more of them on your phone) or Download and Keep Originals if you want to keep the full-resolution photos on your iPhone. In most cases, you should choose the Optimize option so that you don’t use as much of your iPhone’s storage space for photos.
Ensure the Upload to My Photo Stream switch is on (green) (if you aren’t using the iCloud Photo Library, this switch is called My Photo Stream); if you disabled this, skip to step 6. Any photos you take with the iPhone’s camera are copied onto iCloud, and from there they are copied to your other devices on which the Photo Stream is enabled. Note that Photo Stream only affects photos that you take with the iPhone from the time you enable it, while the iCloud Photo Library feature uploads all of your photos, those you took in the past and will take in the future.
If you want all of your burst photos (see Chapter 14) to be uploaded to iCloud, set the Upload Burst Photos switch to on (green). In most cases, you should leave this off (white) because you typically don’t want to keep all the photos in a burst. When you review and select photos to keep, the ones you keep are uploaded through Photo Stream.
To be able to share your photos and to share other people’s photos, set the iCloud Photo Sharing switch to on (green).
Configuring Your iCloud Backup
Like other digital devices, it is important to back up your iPhone’s data so that you can recover should something bad happen to your iPhone. You can back up your iPhone’s data and settings to iCloud, which is really useful because that means you can recover the backed-up data using a different device, such as a replacement iPhone. Configure your iCloud backup with the following steps:
On the iCloud screen, tap Backup.
Set the iCloud Backup switch to on (green). Your iPhone’s data and settings are backed up to the cloud automatically.
Back Me Up on This
You can manually back up your iPhone’s data and settings at any time by tapping Back Up Now on the Backup screen. This can be useful to ensure recent data or settings changes are captured in your backup. For example, if you know you are going to be without a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet for a while, back up your phone to ensure that your current data is saved in the backup.
Configuring Your iCloud Keychain
A keychain can be used to store usernames, passwords, and credit cards so you can access this information without retyping it every time you need it. Enabling keychain syncing through iCloud makes this information available on multiple devices. For example, if you’ve configured a credit card on your keychain on a Mac, that credit card is available though the keychain being synced via iCloud. Follow these steps to enable keychain syncing through iCloud:
These steps assume you have a keychain already configured for iCloud syncing on another device, such as a Mac or iPad, and that you know your security code. If not, your steps may be slightly different than those shown here. For example, you create a security code if this is the first time you set up keychain syncing.
On the iCloud screen, tap Keychain.
Enter your Apple ID password and tap OK. Next, you need to approve with your security code or via another device that uses your keychain.
Set the iCloud Keychain switch to on (green). You need to verify you want the keychain to be enabled on the device. You can do this by entering your security code or approving on another device that has access to your keychain. When you enable the keychain, approval requests are sent to the other devices that have access to your keychain. You can enter your Apple ID password at the prompt on those devices to approve the keychain on your iPhone or continue with these steps to use your security code to do so.
Tap Approve with Security Code.
Enter your security code. You’re prompted to enter a verification code, which is texted to your phone.
Enter the verification code you receive via text. Your keychain syncing starts and your keychain information is stored on the cloud and synced onto your iPhone.
Advanced Keychain Syncing
When keychain syncing has been enabled, Advanced appears on the Keychain screen. Tap this to access additional Keychain commands. Use the Approve with Security Code switch to determine if your code can be used to set up keychain syncing on other devices. Tap Change Security Code to change your security code. Use the controls in the VERIFICATION NUMBER section to see or change the phone number to which the verification code is texted.
It’s Not All Good
If you store a lot of sensitive information in your keychain on a Mac, such as usernames and passwords to websites, credit cards, and such, be careful about enabling keychain syncing. When you enable that, all this data becomes available on your iPhone and can be used by anyone who can use your phone. Assuming you have a passcode to the phone, you are protected from someone using your phone without you knowing it, but if you let someone use your phone, they can also use your sensitive information. You may choose to leave keychain syncing off and just keep a minimum amount of sensitive information on your phone.
>>>Go Further: Configuring Find My iPhone
Find My iPhone enables you to locate and secure your iPhone if you lose it. This feature is enabled by default when you sign into your iCloud account (you can find a detailed explanation of how to use Find My iPhone in Chapter 16, “Maintaining and Protecting Your iPhone and Solving Problems,” which is available on this book’s website). You should usually leave it enabled so that you have a better chance of locating your iPhone should you lose it or to be able to delete its data should you decide you won’t be getting it back. There are a couple of configuration tasks you can do for Find My iPhone:
• To disable Find My iPhone, open Settings and tap the iCloud option, and then tap Find My iPhone. Set the Find My iPhone switch to off (white) and enter your Apple ID password at the prompt. You can longer access your iPhone via the Find My iPhone feature.
• To send the last known location of the iPhone to Apple when power is critically low, open the Find My iPhone screen and set the Send Last Location switch to on (green). When your iPhone is nearly out of power, its location is sent to Apple. You can contact Apple to try to locate your iPhone should it run out of power while it isn’t in your possession.
Setting Up Other Types of Built-In Online Accounts on Your iPhone
Many types of online accounts provide different services, including email, calendars, contacts, social networking, and so on. To use these accounts, you need to configure them on your iPhone. The process you use for most types of accounts is similar to the steps you used to set up your iCloud account. In this section, you’ll learn how to configure a Google account.
Configuring a Google Account
A Google account provides email, contacts, calendar, and note syncing that is similar to iCloud. To set up a Google account on your iPhone, do the following:
On the Home screen, tap Settings.
Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Tap Add Account.
Enter your Google email address.
Enter your Google account password.
Tap Sign In.
Tap Allow to allow Google to use your information or Deny to prevent it.
Enable the features of the account you want to access on the iPhone, which are Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Notes.
Tap Save. The account is saved, and the data you enabled becomes available on your iPhone.
Configuring Other Types of Online Accounts
You can access many types of online accounts on your iPhone. These include accounts that are “built in,” which include iCloud, Exchange, Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and Outlook.com. Setting up an Exchange, Yahoo!, AOL, or Outlook.com account is similar to the built-in accounts you learned to configure earlier in this chapter (iCloud and Google). Just select the account type you want to use and provide the information for which you are prompted.
There are lots of other accounts you might want to use. An email account included with an Internet access account, such as one from a cable Internet provider, is one example. Support for these accounts isn’t built in to the iOS; however, you can usually set up such accounts on your iPhone fairly easily.
When you obtain an account, such as email accounts that are part of your Internet service, you should receive all the information you need to configure those accounts on your iPhone. If you don’t have this information, visit the provider’s website and look for information on configuring the account in an email application. You need to have this information to configure the account on the iPhone.
Setting Up an Online Account Manually
With the configuration information for the account in hand, you’re ready to set it up:
In the Settings app, move to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen and tap Add Account.
Tap the type of account you want to add. For example, to set up an email account, tap Add Mail Account.
Enter the information by filling in the fields you see; various types of information are required for different kinds of accounts. You just need to enter the information you received from the account’s provider.
Tap Next. If the iPhone can set up the account automatically, its information is verified and it is ready for you to use (if the account supports multiple types of information, you can enable or disable the types with which you want to work on your iPhone). If the iPhone can’t set up the account automatically, you’re prompted to enter additional information to complete the account configuration. When you’re done, the account appears on the list of accounts and is ready for you to use.
Configure the switches for the data sync options you see.
Tap Save. The account you configured is available in the related app, such as Mail if you set up an email account.
There is no limit (that I have found so far) on the number of online accounts (even of the same type, such as Gmail) that you can access on your iPhone.
Configuring a Facebook Account
Facebook is one of the most popular social media channels you can use to keep informed about other people and inform them about you. Facebook is integrated into the iOS so you can share photos, messages, and such via your Facebook page, along with using the Facebook app.
To configure Facebook, perform the following steps:
Move to the Home screen and tap Settings.
Swipe up the screen and tap Facebook. If you see INSTALLED at the top of the screen, the Facebook app is installed on your iPhone and you can get right into your account. If not, tap INSTALL to install the app (download and installing apps is covered in Chapter 6); when the app is done installing, continue with these steps.
No Facebook Account?
If don’t have a Facebook account, tap Create New Account and follow the onscreen instructions to create one. When you are done creating the new account, you’re signed into it automatically.
Type your Facebook username.
Type your Facebook password.
Tap Sign In. Your account information is verified and you are signed into your account.
Tap Sign In.
To prevent apps from accessing your Facebook information, slide their switches to the off position (white).
Tap Update All Contacts. Facebook attempts to match as much of your contact information with your friends as it can. When the process is complete, you are ready to access your Facebook account within the Facebook app or in any number of other apps.
More Facebook Settings
If you tap Settings on the Facebook Settings screen, you can do some additional configuration such as enabling or disabling sound and vibration for Facebook notifications. If you tap your name on that screen, you can change your password (which you might need to do from time to time).
Setting How and When Your Accounts Are Updated
The great thing about online accounts is that their information can be updated any time your iPhone can connect to the Internet. This means you have access to the latest information, such as new emails and changes to your calendars.
As you learned in the “Getting Started” section, there are three ways that information on your iPhone is updated: Push, Fetch, and Manual. You can choose the methods that are used to update the information on your iPhone.
Push automatically provides the most current information, but also uses the most power, which shortens how long you can use your iPhone between charges. Fetch updates information automatically though less frequently, but uses less power than Push, so your battery lasts longer. Manual requires that you take action to update information.
You can configure the update method that is used globally, and you can set the method for specific accounts. Some account types, such as iCloud, support all three options while others might support only Fetch and Manual. The global option for updating is used unless you override it for individual accounts. For example, you might want your personal account to be updated via Push so your information there is always current, while configuring Fetch on a club email account may be frequently enough.
Configuring How New Data is Retrieved for Your Accounts
To configure how your information is updated, perform the following steps:
Move to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen of the Settings app.
Tap Fetch New Data.
To enable data to be pushed to your iPhone, slide the Push switch to on (green). To disable push to extend battery life, set it to off (white). This setting is global, meaning that if you disable Push here, it is disabled for all accounts even though you can still configure Push to be used for individual accounts. For example, if your iCloud account is set to use Push but Push is globally disabled, the iCloud account’s setting is ignored and data is fetched instead.
To change how an account’s information is updated, tap it. The account’s screen displays. The options on this screen depend on the kind of account it is. You always have Fetch and Manual; Push is displayed only for accounts that support it.
Tap the option you want to use for the account: Push, Fetch, or Manual.
If you choose Manual, information is retrieved only when you manually start the process by opening the related app (such as Mail to fetch your email) or by using the refresh gesture (swiping down from the top of the screen), regardless of the global setting.
If you choose Fetch, information is updated according to the schedule you set in step 9.
If you choose the Push option, choose the mailboxes whose information you want to be pushed by tapping them so they have a check mark; to prevent a mailbox’s information from being pushed, tap it so that it doesn’t have a check mark. (The Inbox is selected by default and can’t be unselected.)
Tap Fetch New Data.
Repeat steps 5-7 until you have set the update option for each account. (The current option is shown to the right of the account’s name.)
Tap the amount of time when you want the iPhone to fetch data when Push is turned off globally or for those accounts for which you have selected Fetch or that don’t support Push; tap Manually if you want to manually check for information for Fetch accounts or when Push is off. Information for your accounts is updated according to your settings.
>>>Go Further: Tips for Managing Your Accounts
As you add and use accounts on your iPhone, keep the following points in mind:
• You can temporarily disable any data for any account by moving to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen and tapping that account. Set the switch for the data you don’t want to use to off (white). You might be prompted to keep or delete that information; if you choose to keep it, the data remains on your iPhone but is disconnected from the account and is no longer updated. If you delete it, you can always recover it again by simply turning that data back on. For example, suppose you are going on vacation and don’t want to deal with club email. Move to your club account and disable all its data. That data disappears from the related apps; for example, the account’s mailboxes no longer appear in the Mail app. When you want to start using the account again, simply re-enable its data.
• If you want to completely remove an account from your iPhone, move to its configuration screen, swipe up the screen, and tap Delete Account. Tap Delete in the confirmation dialog box and the account is removed from your iPhone. (You can always re-create the account to start using it again.)
• You can have different notifications for certain aspects of an account, such as email. See Chapter 5, “Customizing How Your iPhone Looks and Sounds,” for the details of configuring and using notifications.
• You can change how information is updated at any time, too. If your iPhone is running low on battery, disable Push and set Fetch to Manually so you can control when the updates happen. When your battery is charged again, you can re-enable Push or set a Fetch schedule.