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Learn iPad Week: Set up iCloud in six simple steps

In this instalment of Learn iPad Week, we'll look at how to set up Apple's amazing cloud syncing service on your iPad in just a few simple steps

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With the recent launch of iOS 5, iCloud was finally unleashed on the world, and now is the time to take advantage of its features if you own more than one Apple device.
iCloud makes it very straightforward to keep all of your data in sync across a Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch thanks to a clever sharing system that will update everything at once whenever you make a change. However, setting up your devices correctly is very important. Setting up iCloud itself is relatively simple, whether you own a Mac or just convert a current email address to the new system. But you will need to decide carefully what you want to sync before you input your iCloud address into your iOS device. Do you want your mail in the cloud, or do you just want your contacts to be updated regularly with new data? Do you want photos you take to be saved and beamed instantly to your other devices, and will you need documents and data to be saved between iDevices? All of these are possible, but only optional when you sign up to iCloud, and you can pick and choose what your 5GB of free iCloud storage space will be used for. Read on to find out exactly how to set up each of your devices with iCloud, and how to get everything syncing instantly across your setup.

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Step 1: Signing in or signing up

If you have already set up an iCloud account you can log in here. If not, you can also set one up by selecting Get a Free Apple ID underneath the Sign In button and following the instructions.

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Step 2: Merging

If you are storing contacts, reminders, bookmarks and calendars on your iPad that you don’t have anywhere else, you can choose to merge them into your existing iCloud data to keep everything together.

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Step 3: Find your iPad

If you want to, you have the option to turn on location features that will enable you to use the Find My iPad app that Apple provides free of charge and find your iPad wherever it is on a detailed map.

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Step 4: iCloud Backup

If you turn on iCloud Backup, your iPad will save settings and more to the cloud regularly. This is great for frequent backups, but turning it on will stop your iPad backing up to your Mac – it’s one or the other.

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Step 5: Account settings

In the Account panel you can change settings such as the mail servers used, as well as having the option to increase your storage plan from the standard 5GB by 10, 20 or even 50GB.

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Step 6: Deleting accounts

If you want to get rid of iCloud on your iOS device, you can do so by tapping Delete Account. You can choose to delete everything taken on iCloud from your iPad, but doing so won’t affect what is saved in the cloud.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

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This tutorial is part of our Learn iPad Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn iPad Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to the iPad. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearniPadWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.