If you've used an Apple device for any extended period of time, you're probably already familiar with iCloud, Apple's content storage and syncing solution. However, you might be less au fait with iCloud+.
Revealed at WWDC 2021, iCloud+ is a mixture of a rebrand for the iCloud service you know and love, plus some neat new additional features. And we're here to tell you everything you need to know about it.
What is iCloud+?
At WWDC 2021, Apple announced something of a rebrand for its iCloud service with iCloud+. The newly-named service will roll out alongside iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey in the fall, though you probably won't notice.
Though its name is similar to Apple's other paid services, iCloud+ actually doesn't change too much about what you know about iCloud today. It's not an extra tier or premium add-on. It's mainly just a new name for paid iCloud accounts.
iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost.
iCloud+ brings with it some new features, though, namely the privacy-focused Hide My Email and Private Relay, plus enhanced HomeKit Secure Video storage. It's also noted in Apple's iOS 15 preview that iCloud+ will come with custom email domains for iCloud Mail accounts.
If you are on a paid iCloud plan, you will be moved to iCloud+ automatically and get these extra features at no additional cost.
How is iCloud+ different from iCloud?
Apple declared iCloud+ as "everything you love about iCloud, with some great new features." For the most part, it's no different — it's simply a new name for paid iCloud accounts with pricing and storage tiers remaining the same.
iCloud+ does, however, bring with it some new features in addition to its new name, including the Hide My Email and Private Relay features for improved privacy, enhanced HomeKit Secure Video storage, and custom email domains for iCloud Mail.
When can I get iCloud+?
Those on Apple's pre-release software, like the iOS beta, will already see iCloud+ nomenclature within the Settings app, though the service officially launches later this year when Apple's next round of software upgrades are released.
How much will iCloud+ storage plans cost?
iCloud already has a few different storage plans that you can choose from, and the arrival of iCloud+ has not changed the prices or storage tiers. Here's how they break down:
- 50GB - $0.99 per month
- 200GB - $2.99 per month
- 2TB - $9.99 per month
Of course, there will still be the free iCloud plan detailed below.
Will iCloud+ be free to use?
While Apple has rebranded its paid accounts as iCloud+ plans, you can still use iCloud for free. You'll get 5GB of storage at no cost. If you need more space, upgraded to an iCloud+ account. You also won't get access to new, iCloud+-exclusive features like Hide My Email, Private Relay, custom iCloud Mail domains, or HomeKit Secure Video.
Will iCloud+ be included with Apple One?
Yes. Apple's services bundle, Apple One, includes iCloud+ storage alongside other offerings like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Fitness+.
The amount of storage included will depend on the Apple One bundle you go for: Individual, Family, or Premier. These offer 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB of iCloud+ storage, respectively. If you already use one or two paid Apple services, it may well make sense to upgrade to Apple One to save on your subscriptions.
Where will I be able to use iCloud+?
Since iCloud+ is essentially just a rebrand of Apple's paid-for storage tiers, the places you can use I have remained unchanged. Support for iCloud, and therefore iCloud+, is built into every modern Apple device running iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, or tvOS.
As well as using the best iPhone and iPad devices with iCloud+, you can also use iCloud.com to manage your account, find lost items, and even restore certain types of content.
Will I be able to share my iCloud+ storage with family?
Yes, Apple's Family Sharing feature will allow you to share your iCloud+ storage with family members just like you can with iCloud today. Your photos and documents will still remain private, meaning family members won't be able to snoop on each other's stuff, but you'll all eat into the same storage amount with the content you save.
How do I sign up for iCloud+?
Existing iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically this fall. If you're already on a paid iCloud account or subscribe to the Apple One bundle, there will be no action required.
If you're on the free 5GB iCloud plan, you can upgrade your iCloud storage at any point in the Settings or System Preferences app on your iOS device or Mac.
You can create a new iCloud account on any iPhone, iPad, or Mac during setup with your Apple ID. If your devices are already up and running and you skipped this step, you can easily create a new Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad or set up new Apple ID on your Mac if you don't already have one to use iCloud.
Still have burning questions about iCloud+? Let us know in the comments down below.