At WWDC 2021, Apple has upgraded the capabilities of its cloud storage service iCloud with a new tier it calls iCloud+. iCloud+ or iCloud Plus is meant to enhance the privacy aspect of iCloud, and as part of this effort, the Cupertino giant has added three new features in iOS 15. Today, we will be discussing the features of iCloud+ and how you can get iCloud+ on your Apple account.
iCloud+ Everything You Need to Know (2021)
iCloud+ is Apple’s latest subscription tier introduced to iCloud. We have detailed its features, pricing, availability, supported countries, release date, and even how it differs from iCloud. Hence, read on till the end to know everything about iCloud+.
What is iCloud+?
iCloud+ enhances the capabilities of iCloud with new privacy features. The features in question include Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support. Before we start, it is worth pointing out that iCloud Plus features are exclusive to paid iCloud customers.
Private Relay is a new feature that helps protect your privacy while browsing the web through the Safari browser. According to Apple, Private Relay uses a dual-hop architecture while you are browsing. All the 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 relay decrypts the web addresses and takes users to the destination. This way, no single entity can identify the user and the sites they visit. Think of it as a VPN, but Apple’s implementation of Private Relay isn’t exactly the same as what you’d find on a VPN.
Hide My Email
Hide My Email feature lets users generate random email addresses that they can use to keep their primary email address private. Apple has integrated this feature into Safari, iCloud settings, and the native Mail app. According to Apple, you can generate and delete as many addresses as you need.
But if you are someone who’s not in Apple’s ecosystem, you could use a service like Firefox Relay or SimpleLogin to generate email aliases. To learn more, go through our guide on how you can get Hide My Email feature on Windows and Android.
HomeKit Secure Video Expansion
Another iCloud Plus perk is wider HomeKit Secure Video support. With this expansion, users can link more cameras to monitor home security video footage in the Home app. Notably, the video footage will not count against your iCloud’s storage capacity.
You can connect one, five, or an unlimited number of cameras based on your plan. To be specific, you can connect a single HomeKit Secure Video camera with the 50GB plan, up to five HomeKit Secure Video cameras in the 200GB plan, and unlimited cameras in the 2TB plan.
Now, many of you must be wondering — how much does the iCloud+ subscription cost? Well, Apple will make iCloud+ available to paid iCloud customers at no additional cost. If you are in the United States, you can get iCloud Plus in the 50GB plan that costs $0.99 per month, 200GB plan priced at $2.99 per month, and 2TB at $9.99 per month. This translates to Rs. 75 for 50GB plan, Rs. 219 for 200GB plan, and Rs. 749 for 2TB plan for customers in India.
Is iCloud+ Part of Apple One Subscription?
Several Apple One customers have been asking if they will get iCloud+ as part of their Apple One subscription. And the answer to that question is yes. You will get iCloud+ if you have Apple One since the subscription includes iCloud too.
For those who don’t know, Apple One is a subscription bundle that offers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud for a monthly fee. The confusion happened due to a bug in the iOS 15 developer beta that made users subscribe to iCloud+ on top of Apple One. If you have installed iOS 15 developer beta on your iPhone and are facing the same issue, a restart should fix the issue.
iCloud+: Release Date and Supported Countries
iCloud+ will be available to all users later this fall. The service will go live in regions where Apple already operates iCloud. However, Apple has confirmed to Reuters that iCloud Plus’ Private Relay feature will not be available in China and select other countries citing regulatory reasons.
Apart from China, iCloud+’s Private Relay will also be unavailable in Belarus, Colombia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and the Philippines.
iCloud+ vs iCloud
As we discussed earlier, iCloud+ is not meant to replace iCloud. Instead, it brings new features to enhance the iCloud experience. The best part is that you get all the new iCloud+ features at no additional cost.
In a nutshell, iCloud Plus supercharges your existing iCloud subscription with several new privacy improvements. So if you are someone who’s already a paid iCloud customer, make sure you try out the new iCloud+ features when it becomes available later this year.
Get New Privacy Features with iCloud+
So, that’s all you need to know to get started with iCloud+. If Google Photos stopping free unlimited storage didn’t motivate you enough to move your pictures from Google Photos to iCloud, have these new privacy features introduced with iCloud+ convinced you? Let us know in the comments. And for more features announced at WWDC 2021, go through our articles on how you can make a FaceTime call between iPhone and Android and how to watch movies together on FaceTime with SharePlay.