MacMost Now 723: Using the iCloud.com Web Site

iCloud services are tied into apps like Mail, iCal and Address Book. But you can also access your data through the iCloud.com web site. This allows you to get your email and access your events and contacts even when you are using a computer that doesn't have iCloud. The web-based apps are very sophisticated, offering almost the same functionality as the full apps, and often more functionality than the iOS apps. You can also use iCloud.com to transfer documents between your Mac and iOS devices, even in Lion.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today's episode we will take a look at iCloud.com.

So what is iCloud.com? It's the web site that goes along with your iCloud account. A lot of people, I'm surprised, don't know about this or don't use it. It is very useful if you want to access iCloud on a computer that doesn't support iCloud in the Operating System, like say a Mac with Snow Leopard or maybe a windows machine without the iCloud extensions installed. You can get to a lot of things like your email, contacts, and calendar just by going to this web site using any browser on any modern computer.

So you do it by just going into iCloud.com and once you are there if you are not signed in already you are asked to sign in. I'm already signed in here as you can see. I can access some account preferences here or I can jump into one of these Apps. Now there may be more Apps being added in the future but these cover the basics as of right now in June 2012. So, for instance, if you want to look at your email just tap on email there and it actually looks a lot like the Mail App on Mac. As a matter of fact it has a lot of the same buttons here, you can select an email, you can archive it, you can respond, you can put it into a folder, you can compose a new message. It works a lot like if you were just using Mail. You can see here, even the controls are kind of the same. You can go to different boxes, create new folders, do all sorts of stuff with your email. You can even click on Preferences and go into Preferences. You have a lot of the same preferences that you have in Mail. You can send signatures, work with accounts, you can set different rules even, or even vacation responses. So a lot of the things you can do here in the web version of iCloud Mail, is just like you could do it if you were using Mail. So it doesn't leave Snow Leopard users out or even if you are mobile going from computer to computer you have a lot of access to your me.com email.

Going back to the main iCloud interface you can also get access to your Contacts. So here you've got it looks just like the address book and you can through and look at the different groups, go into an individual here, and edit. Do all sorts of things just like you could in Address Book. Even different settings and preferences for contacts all in the web based App.

Likewise here is Calendars. So you can get into your Calendar here and see this does indeed look a lot like the regular App or iCal as it will be called in Mountain Lion. You can add different events and edit them here.

You also have access to Find My iPhone which is very useful because if somebody has stolen your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad and you are using this feature you could do it from a friend's computer by logging into your iCloud Account.

And you have iWork. What iWork is is your documents and in Lion we don't have access to these on the Mac. So these are things that I've saved from my iPad, from the Pages on my iPad. Now, on Lion this is the way I would get to them on my Mac. A lot of people don't realize this. You can go to iCloud.com, go into iWork Documents and click on Keynote Pages or Numbers and then you can select a document there and download it and in Mountain Lion, of course, you will have direct access, in the Open and Saved dialogue boxes to these same documents. You also have preferences here to delete documents or upload a new one from your Mac that wouldn't be accessible from your IOS devices. So very handy not only for Snow Leopard users but also Lion users as well.

For iCloud users you should get familiar with the web version of iCloud. It is very useful for going to other computers, for using older Macs and for having access to your documents between Macs and IOS when you are using Lion or earlier.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 19 Responses to “MacMost Now 723: Using the iCloud.com Web Site”

    G. James
    6/18/12 @ 1:46 pm

    One big thing that bothers me about iCloud.com is that I’m not allowed to access it from my iOS devices, particularly the iPad, no matter what browser I use. It just directs you to activate iCloud on the iOS device itself, which it already is.

    I often have problems with the calendar not syncing reliably between my iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad–usually producing duplicate entries indistinguishable from the synced entries, so I end up removing the wrong one–unless I make the changes to iCloud.com directly. I can’t set events at custom intervals (Monday-Thursday, 3rd Tuesday, etc.) or at times at other than 5 minute increments on the iOS devices, and attempts to edit them on the iOS device can lose the custom nature of those I did set up via iCloud on a computer.

    Also, my iCal application on my Snow Leopard Mac Pro appears to have become completely disassociated to the other devices ever since Lion came out.

      6/18/12 @ 2:10 pm

      FYI — having duplicate events and contacts often happens when someone upgrades to iCloud, but leaves the old MobileMe account active on the device. Check in your Settings and in the apps for that possibility.

        Jerry G
        6/19/12 @ 6:21 am

        I was getting the message that G. James cites, on my MBP. I ended up calling AppleCare and getting some help. It seems that it’s common, as Gary suggests, for some confusion to happen during migration from MobileMe. The problem is that there are multiple accounts, and the iCloud account is not the same as the Apple ID account on your device, so the error is reported. The cure was to log out of iCloud and then log back in with the same account that you use for other Apple ID requirements on your device.
        Jerry

        G. James
        6/19/12 @ 10:18 am

        I never signed up for a MobileMe account and all three iOS devices’ iCloud settings are to the same Apple ID. I’ll have to try tagging each calendar event with the device name that created it and observing how it propagates to the others. I suspect that I’ll have to turn iCloud completely off on all the devices and then back on again. But I can’t see how that could resolve not being able to access iCloud.com’s services from an iOS device’s browser.

          6/19/12 @ 10:33 am

          It won’t resolve your issue with trying to access iCloud.com from your iOS device. You simply can’t. I wish you could. I was addressing the duplicate entries problem.

    John Fitzpatrick
    6/21/12 @ 3:17 am

    Gary when you say you can “transfer documents” do you mean only keynote, pages, and numbers documents? I can,t get anything else to transfer to other devices. Particularly I can,t get iawriter to sync to my ios devices. At this stage I have given up on icloud, and I will not be buying any more apps that advertise that they work with icloud. The fact is icloud is broken (in the wider context) except for apples own software apps.

    Do you know of an app that will allow access to google docs / drive?

    Regards
    John Fitzpatrick

      6/21/12 @ 3:20 am

      Right. Only from those three apps now. Apple has already announced “Documents In the Cloud” coming in Mountain Lion that will allow more — any app developer can add their app, so soon many will be using this system.
      Google Drive is too new for apps to be using it yet.

    Matt
    6/21/12 @ 8:19 pm

    Gary: when i go to iCloud via safari…and click iWork’s it says I need pages for iOS? i am accessing from iMac…and have pages installed….when i go to the store…the download button is grayed out…and says “downloaded”….what gives? thanks

      6/22/12 @ 12:12 am

      Right. The primary use for that right now is Pages, Numbers and Keynote on iOS (not Mac). But that will change with Mountain Lion. Pages for iOS is Pages for your iPad or iPhone — it is different than Pages for Mac. So then you can access these documents by running Pages on your iOS device (not your Mac).

    Kim H.
    6/22/12 @ 2:50 am

    When on the road can I access my 3 email accounts with iCloud?

      6/22/12 @ 4:23 am

      Are they iCloud (me.com) email accounts? You can access them from anywhere just like any email account.

    Jerry
    6/24/12 @ 1:21 pm

    Hi Gary, video doesn’t mention that (I think I’m right) you can only access mail on iCloud if you have a ‘me’ account. All I have is GMail so presume I can’t use ‘Mail’ this way?

    Thanks!

      6/24/12 @ 1:43 pm

      iCloud and Gmail are two different services. You wouldn’t access Gmail through iCloud — you access each separately. If you are talking about using an email client (like Mail on a Mac or Mail on an iPhone) then you can access each just as easily. Just add an iCloud account for @me.com email an add a Gmail account for Gmail email. If you are talking about on the web, you would go to icloud.com or gmail.com. But it doesn’t make sense to access Gmail through iCloud any more than accessing, say, one web site through another web site.

    walter kirkwood
    6/28/12 @ 2:26 pm

    I use yahoo mail how do I get rid of my mobile me account and only use yahoo in iCloud?

      6/29/12 @ 12:19 am

      Get rid of it from what? From either a Mac or an iOS device, you can simply remove that account from your Mail app and then you won’t see it anymore.

    Rob Jenkins
    6/29/12 @ 12:22 am

    Hi Gary – great as always. One thing that I’d love you to cover is with the demise of Mobile Me and the galleries – it seems Photostream is more just for casual photos – not a gallery like I use to use as a photographer. I don’t want everything I take on my iPhone on the Stream, but I’d love to have a gallery I can link to from my website or emails… is this totally gone now?

    regards
    Rob

    E.Ellis
    9/20/12 @ 2:31 pm

    Hi Gary , first and foremost i want to say thank you for all of these great videos and information you put out for people that are new to the Apple “ecosystem” like my self.
    My question is : i got an imac couple of ipod’s for the kids and now with the release of iphone 5 my wife and I are ditching our blackberries for something more up to par with what im trying to do (one ecosystem in the house and mobile) i’ve been looking and looking but i cant find no answer on whats the best way to either sync our our phones to the same icloud acct or just use individual accounts and just invite one another to reminders and i cal .. what works best if we want to keep individuality but be able to certain things, my other issue is with HOTMAIL for some odd reason hotmail in “mountain lion” sends me and error when im trying to send o respond to an email i have tried just about all i can , and nothing works , how can i fix this problem or its best to use another EMAIL provider ?? thanks once more and Keep the good work

      9/20/12 @ 2:53 pm

      Definitely the best way to do it is to have separate iCloud accounts. They are meant to be individual. You can share a calendar and even a reminders list.
      Hotmail should work fine. Maybe try removing the account and added it again?

Comments Closed.