“Take Control of iCloud, Third Edition” Unravels iCloud Confusions
Apple’s iCloud service has changed dramatically in recent weeks thanks to new features in OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8 that require mediation through iCloud. We’ve written quite a bit about iCloud Drive (see “Moving to iCloud Drive,” 15 October 2014, and “iCloud Drive Is Not a Dropbox Replacement,” 6 November 2014), but we’ve been too busy to explore the still-beta iCloud Photo Library and Family Sharing in TidBITS. But over on the Take Control side, Joe Kissell has been poking and prodding at all parts of iCloud while working on the third edition of his best-selling “Take
Control of iCloud,” which is now out. The book is 175 pages and costs $15.
Notably, Joe thoroughly explains the differences between (and how to use) iCloud’s My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Library, and iCloud Photo Sharing. He documents the many peculiarities of iCloud Drive. And he helps you with the new Family Sharing feature. Other new bits that receive attention include iCloud storage price drops, the Mail Drop feature for sending large email attachments, modifications to the iCloud Web apps, Apple TV photo and music features, and security enhancements such as two-factor authentication, app-specific passwords, and protection from purchasing stolen secondhand iOS devices.
Of course, “Take Control of iCloud, Third Edition” still covers iCloud basics like keeping media purchased from Apple in sync across devices, syncing contacts and calendars, using iCloud Keychain to have the same passwords available on all your devices, backing up and restoring iOS device backups, and much, much more. It’s the most comprehensive documentation of iCloud available.
I don't want to give Apple my personal info and I don't want iCloud. How do I get rid of the dialog that comes up twice every time I log on to supply an iCloud password? I understand that as soon as I do Apple will give me an iCloud account and start billing my credit card which they have in their App store.
To be clear, iCloud accounts are free, although you can pay for more iCloud Drive storage if you want.
Look in the iCloud pane of System Preferences, and make sure there's no account signed in there. I've never tried to disable iCloud entirely and then keep working, so I'm not sure if you'll get those dialogs on every restart still. I'm hoping not - that you have an account's info in the iCloud preference pane, and it's just trying to get you to finish the login process.