Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Apple ID and iCloud accounts, part of Mac OS X El Capitan Essential Training.
- Before we get into learning how to work with OS X, there's an important conversation we should have about Online Accounts. Specifically, the AppleID account and the iCloud account. As you use OS X, or an iPhone or an iPad or an Apple Watch, there will be many times where you may be prompted to log in to either an Apple ID or an iCloud account in order to enable certain functionality. If you are already familiar with these accounts, you might want to skip this movie. Also, I want to note that you are not required to sign in to an Apple ID or iCloud account to use OS X.
But you do need those accounts in order to use some applications and some optional services. So if you do not want to set up these accounts, you always have the option to skip it when you're prompted to log in. But that will mean that there are some features in OS X that you will not be able to use. For everybody else, let's talk about the Apple ID account and the iCloud account, what they do for you, and how you get them set up. And we're going to start with the Apple ID. The Apple ID is a simple registration for one individual person.
It's a way of getting you and your information into Apple's database so that you can identify yourself on your computer and Apple's online services. An Apple ID is information about a person in Apple's system. When you set up an Apple ID, you'll have a simple email address and password which you can use to log in to store and update information about yourself with Apple. The information stored in your Apple ID account includes your name, contact information, any computers or devices you've registered with Apple, and most importantly, payment information.
That's because the Apple ID is the account that you use in any application that involves paying for something, like buying music in iTunes or apps in the App Store. So that's one thing that the Apple ID does for you. It also allows you to access the App Store and the iTunes Store and your payment information is stored there. You do not have to pay for an Apple ID account, it's free to set up. But if you use any of Apple's online stores, you will need to provide credit card information in your Apple ID account.
But Apple ID is also used to log you into free services. For example, if you're using the Messages app, you may want to have an Apple ID. We'll talk more about this in the movie dedicated specifically to the Messages app. Now you could use an AOL Instant Messenger account or a Google Chat account, or some other chat account with a Messages application. But the Apple ID is a great free account that you can use. And if you use Facetime, you'll need an Apple ID account for that as well. So that's the Apple ID account.
Then there's the iCloud account. iCloud is an account that you set up that gives you access to a collection of tools built around synchronizing and accessing your data on multiple devices. iCloud gives you a tool called iCloud Photo Library which will keep your photo collection synchronized on multiple computers, iPhones, and iPads. iCloud lets you keep your Address Book, Calendars, Reminders, and Notes synchronized on multiple devices. So the information on your computer is always the same as the information on your iPhone, for example.
iCloud gives you an Email account, a Cloud Storage tool, and a Backup solution for an iPhone or iPad. If it involves storing your data on Apple's cloud-based servers or synchronizing data across multiple devices, you're probably dealing with iCloud. An iCloud account is also free, but there are optional services that cost money. That's the general idea of what iCloud does. You should check out my course, iCloud Essential Training, for more information on iCloud. So here's the one confusing thing that I want to address before you run into it.
In some scenarios, an Apple ID account and an iCloud account can be considered the same account. You might have an iCloud account that is completely separate from your Apple ID account, or they might be the same account. Apple ID and iCloud started as two very different services, but over the years they've changed and become much more closely linked. Now when you log into iCloud, the email address and password are actually considered to be an Apple ID.
So you can think of iCloud as an extra service added on top of an Apple ID log in. Because they're so tightly linked, and they can be considered the same account, if you do not have either account and you plan to set one up, I highly recommend you set up one account that is used for both services. One email address and password that you'll use whenever you are prompted to log in to either Apple ID or iCloud. So I hope you're starting to understand what the Apple ID and iCloud accounts are and what they're used for.
The usefulness of these accounts will become more clear as we go through the rest of this course. At this point, you might want to decide whether you plan to use these accounts, or you can continue watching this course and decide later. Either way, I'll show you how you can set up one or both of these accounts, if you choose to do that in the next movie in this chapter.
- Setting mouse and trackpad options and gesture controls
- Connecting to the Internet
- Organizing your Mac OS X desktop
- Browsing files and folders with the Finder
- Launching and quitting applications
- Using Split View and multitasking
- Searching for files with Spotlight
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Setting up Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
- Connecting to others with Messages and FaceTime
- Working with notifications
- Installing apps
- Sharing over a wireless network
- Backing up your Mac