Apple ID and iCloud Explained

3 minutes read
(Last Updated On: November 20, 2018)

In this post, I’m going to explain; in a nutshell, what exactly Apple ID and iCloud are. There seems to be a lot of confusion between the two.

What is an Apple ID account?

An Apple ID account is an email address and password for everything Apple. It’s used by Apple device users to enable them to download apps from the App Store, iTunes Store, and use iMessage, FaceTime, iCloud, Apple TV and all other Apple products and services. Just like how an Android device user would need a Google account (Gmail) to download apps and sync files to a Google account.

An Apple ID must be a valid email address, whether Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or a custom email, with a strong alphanumeric password which is at least 8 characters long and case-sensitive. 

You can log in and manage your Apple ID account using the following address. https://appleid.apple.com.

To create an Apple ID you can follow this link: https://appleid.apple.com/account#!&page=create

It is not advisable to share your Apple ID email and password with other Apple device users, because your details might sync on their device too. Your Apple ID should be your personal ID for only the Apple devices you own.

What is an iCloud account?

iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage facility that securely allows Apple device users, whether the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Macbook, iMac etc. to be able to sync and update contacts, notes, calendar, photos, videos, and emails across multiple Apple devices. This allows users to access their files on other Apple devices they are logged in. For example, if you own an iPhone and a MacBook laptop, you can sign in to your iCloud account on both devices using your Apple ID and access the same files on both devices.

Each iCloud account is given 5 gigabytes of free storage but you can upgrade to more storage for a small monthly charge. On your iCloud settings, you can choose what you need to sync to your iCloud storage, and whether to only sync when you’re on WiFi or Data or even both.

Syncing with iCloud on the iPhone

Adding an iCloud account to your Apple device helps in restricting access to your files and device when it’s reset after being stolen.

iPhone activation after reset

To connect your Apple device to iCloud you’ll need to create an Apple ID first. Your iCloud account can also be used to locate your iPhone when you lose it using the feature called “Find My iPhone”. With the feature turned on, you can log in to your iCloud account by accessing www.icloud.com from a supported browser and locate your iPhone if it’s online or even erase data from it.  

 

 

Find my iPhone on the iPhone

 

Find my iPhone on iCloud

 

Conclusion

An Apple ID Account and iCloud Account are two separate accounts but can be accessed with the same e-mail ID. Your Apple ID is what you use to login to your iCloud account. Your iCloud account which is a service is what you connect to your Apple device to sync and backup your files online.

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