During its recent WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2021 keynote, Apple unveiled a new iCloud+ service which includes tentpole privacy features like Private Relay, Hide My Email and HomeKit Secure Video support. Wondering about what are these new features, how is iCloud+ different from the existing iCloud service and what is the pricing? Continue reading…
How is iCloud+ different from iCloud?
While iCloud is largely a cloud service platform, iCloud+ is a step ahead as it comes with improved privacy features and it separates the free iCloud users from the paid subscribers.
What are the key features of iCloud+?
iCloud+ clubs iCloud storage with enhanced privacy through features such as…
Private Relay (Apple’s own VPN): When Private Relay is turned on, nobody can track your browsing history. When browsing with Safari, Private Relay ensures all traffic leaving a user’s device is sent through two separate internet relays. The first assigns the user an anonymous IP address that maps to their region but not their actual location. The second decrypts the Web address the users want to visit and forwards them to their destination. This separation of information ensures that no one between the user and the website he is browsing can access and read the data, including Apple as well as the user’s internet service provider.
Hide My Email: It allows users to generate and operate email IDs that can be handed out in lieu of the person’s own ID. For example, users may feel hesitant handing out their email ID to an online survey or even some brand outlet. In such cases, Hide My Email’s IDs will prove to be of use. This will allow users to keep their personal email address private. Apple says that users can create and delete as many addresses as needed at any time.
Homekit Secure Video: The functionality is limited to the user’s security camera feeds. When linked up to an Apple product, iCloud+ will store all camera footage to the Secure Video feature. That means there’s extra space in the cloud for everything else.
What is the pricing of iCloud+?
The tech giant is offering the iCloud+ service with all the new features at no additional cost. However, only the paid iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+. The iCloud+ plans will carry the same price tag as the iCloud storage plans.
In India, the plans start at Rs 75 per month. It offers 50GB iCloud storage and comes with support for one HomeKit Secure Video camera. There is a Rs 219 plan which offers 200GB iCloud storage and support for up to 5 HomeKit Secure Videos. The top-end plan carries a price tag of Rs 749. It offers 2TB iCloud storage. Users will get access to unlimited HomeKit Secure videos with this plan.
Will iCloud+ also be available to users who have a free plan iCloud (5GB one)?
No, those with a free plan for iCloud will have to choose from the above-mentioned plans to enjoy iCloud+ features.
Is that it?
No, there’s more. There is also a “Digital Legacy” service that has been added in the iCloud+ plan which will allow the user to choose who can access their files after they die. Further, there is a new recovery feature by which you can add a friend for account recovery. This way, you can request access to your data to your friend. But that doesn’t mean that your friend can access your iCloud data but it’s just a way to recover your account.