Monday, July 26

Everything you need to know about iCloud + (iCloud Plus) | Digital Trends Spanish

Subscribers to Apple’s backup service are about to get an offer with the new version called iCloud + (pronounced iCloud Plus) and will be available when iOS 15 launches this fall. It represents a major expansion of the current premium service at no additional charge, with new privacy features at its core.

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The current version of Apple’s iCloud, successor to iTools, .Mac, and MobileMe, has been configured as a cohesive group of cloud services to protect and sync your content and applications across all your devices.

This makes all your photos, files, notes, contacts, and reminders available no matter where you are when you log in from a supported web browser. The default free iCloud offers just 5GB of online storage for free, but its various paid subscription plans let you add space and other valuable services for a fee.

At WWDC 2021, Apple announced iCloud +, an update to its current service, with new features focused on privacy and other practical conveniences. The three new and most important features of this application in iOS 15 are: Private Relay (internet encryption function), Hide My Email (creation of fake email addresses) and HomeKit Secure Video (improved support for home security cameras ).

If you’re already subscribed to a paid iCloud storage plan, you’ll get the new features as a free update at launch. Here’s the lowdown on what’s in store.

Private Relay


Private Relay is Apple’s version of a quasi VPN, which is designed to protect your online identity by encrypting all outgoing traffic from your device, thus hiding your online activity from ISPs, governments, and criminal snoopers.

Private Relay is a VPN of sorts, but what sets it apart from classic VPNs is its dual-server approach: one server is Apple and the other is an as-yet-unidentified third party to anonymize your online activities. After encryption, the content flows through two separate relays where even Apple cannot see it.

With all traffic encrypted, if someone were to intercept your data on a public wireless network, they would still have to decrypt the data to invade your privacy. Apple will know who you are, but not where you are going, since the destination is encrypted.

With the second channel, the third one knows where you are and where you’ve gone, but not who you are, since your IP address is anonymous. Ideally this will work without a speed bump, but that remains to be seen.

VPNs are often used to hide location to access geo-restricted content, but Private Relay will not. While iCloud Private Relay is designed specifically for Safari, at least initially, classic VPNs protect all your online activities.

Private Relay is designed to be flexible, so you may be able to disable the feature for specific sites. Apple hopes its developers will support the system so that eventually Private Relay is not limited to just Safari.

Private Relay will not be available in Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, and Uganda due to strict censorship regulations in those countries.

Hide My Email

Hide My Email allows you to create and delete email aliases instead of revealing your real address. This new feature will be integrated into Mail, Safari and iCloud settings, allowing you to configure as many fake addresses as you want and remove them at will.

It acts like your real email and gets forwarded to your inbox. If that address is then attacked by spammers, you can use your iCloud settings to delete it. The function, similar to Sign in with Apple, make your address anonymous to improve protection against spam.

HomeKit Secure Video

An iPhone with a picture taken from HomeKit Secure Video

With iCloud +, HomeKit Secure Video footage will be end-to-end encrypted, with no limits on the number of devices you can connect. Apple’s previous subscription plan required users to pay for a 200GB iCloud plan to record video from a single camera, which counted against their total iCloud storage.

After the update, you’ll be able to connect more cameras through the Home app, and that footage won’t count against your total iCloud storage either. HomeKit Secure Video ensures that everything captured by security cameras is analyzed and encrypted on your device before being stored in iCloud.

Add Recovery Contact

Screenshot of Add Recovery Contact

Another useful feature that will be featured in the iCloud update is the ability to add a person as your password backup. If you ever forget your iCloud account password, Apple is adding another way to get a security code that you can use to access your account. This option allows you to add a trusted friend or family member who can obtain the code and share it with you.

Legacy Contact

If you’re using iCloud to store family memories like photos and videos, as well as other important documents and contacts, you’ll probably want to give your loved ones a way to access those files after you’re gone. With iCloud +, you can designate an existing contact as a legacy contact, so that when that time comes, that person can access your account.


When iCloud + launches, all the new premium features will be available to all subscribers, with all iCloud + plans shareable within the same Family Sharing group. The current prices are as follows:

  • 50GB of storage with a HomeKit Secure Video camera for $ 1 a month.
  • 200GB of storage with up to five HomeKit Secure Video cameras for $ 3 / month.
  • 2 TB with an unlimited number of HomeKit Secure Video cameras for $ 10 per month.

If you’re an Apple One subscriber, you’ll automatically get the iCloud + update as well, at no additional charge.

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