During WWDC 2021, Apple upgraded the capabilities of its cloud storage service, iCloud, to a new level it calls iCloud+. iCloud+ is intended to improve the privacy aspect of iCloud, and as part of that effort, the Cupertino giant has added three new features in iOS 15.
Today I’m going to cover the features of it and how you can get it on your Apple account. I’ll detail its features, price, availability, supported countries, release date, and even how it differs from iCloud. So read to the end to know everything about iCloud+.
What is iCloud+?
It enhances the capabilities of iCloud with new “premium” privacy features. The features in question include Private Relay, hiding my emails and extended support for HomeKit secure video, and an innovative new online privacy service. Before we begin, it should be clarified that the features of iCloud+ are exclusive to paid iCloud customers.
Private Relay is a new feature that helps protect your privacy while browsing the web from Safari browser. According to Apple, Private Relay uses a double-hop architecture while you are browsing. All web traffic that leaves your device is encrypted and sent through two internet relays.
While the first relay assigns an anonymous IP address, the second decrypt web addresses and leads users to their destinations. In this way, no entity can identify the user and the sites he visits. Think of it as a VPN, but Apple’s implementation of Private Relay isn’t the same as you’d find on a VPN.
Hide my emails
The “Hide My Email” feature allows users to generate random email addresses that they can use to keep their primary email address private. Apple has integrated this functionality into Safari, iCloud settings, and the native Mail app. According to Apple, you can generate and delete as many addresses as you want.
HomeKit Secure Video Extension
Another benefit of it is the broader support for HomeKit Secure Video. With this extension, users can link more cameras to monitor home security video footage in the Home app. In particular, the video sequences will not be deducted from the storage capacity of your iCloud account.
You can connect one, five, or an unlimited number of cameras depending on your plan. To be precise, you can connect a single HomeKit Secure Video camera with the 50 GB plan, up to 5 HomeKit Secure Video cameras in the 200 GB plan, and an unlimited number of cameras in the 2 TB plan.
Now, many of you must be wondering – how much does subscription cost? Well, Apple will make iCloud+ available to paid iCloud customers at no additional cost. So, you can get it in the 50 GB plan for $ 0.99 per month, the 200 GB plan for $ 2.99 per month, and 2 TB for $ 9.99 per month.
Is iCloud+ part of the Apple One subscription?
Several Apple One customers have asked if they will get it as part of their Apple One subscription. The answer to this question is yes. You will get it if you have Apple One since the subscription also includes iCloud.
For those who don’t know, Apple One is a bundle subscription that offers Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, and iCloud for a monthly fee. The confusion arose due to a bug in the developer beta of iOS 15 that caused users to subscribe to iCloud+ in addition to Apple One. If you have installed iOS 15 developer beta on your iPhone and are facing the same issue, a restart should fix the problem.
It will be available to all users sometime in the fall. The service will launch in regions where Apple already operates iCloud. However, Apple confirmed to Reuters that iCloud+ ‘s Private Relay feature will not be available in China and some other countries for regulatory reasons.
Besides China, iCloud+ ‘s Private Relay will also not be available in Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and the Philippines.
iCloud+ vs iCloud
As I mentioned earlier, iCloud+ is not intended to replace iCloud. On the contrary, it brings new features to improve the iCloud experience. The best part is that you get all the new features of iCloud+ at no additional cost.
In a nutshell, iCloud+ overloads your existing iCloud subscription with several new privacy enhancements. If you’re already a paid iCloud customer, be sure to try out new iCloud+ features when they become available later this year.
So that’s all you need to know to start using it. If stopping Google Photos’ free unlimited storage didn’t motivate you enough to move your photos from Google Photos to iCloud, did the new privacy features introduced with iCloud+ convince you?
All image credit- Apple