iOS 15: All the New iCloud Features and Improvements

BY Parth Shah

Published 14 Jun 2021

new features in iCloud

Apple announced iOS 15 at WWDC 2021. Among all the improvements and features in iOS 15, iCloud changes got everyone’s attention. And in a surprising move, Apple is offering more reasons to subscribe to iCloud. The iCloud subscription isn’t limited to adding more cloud storage to your Apple account. Starting with iOS 15, you also get new additions such as Hide My Email, iCloud Private Relay for anonymous browsing, and more with iCloud+. Let’s talk about them.

All New iCloud Features and Changes in iOS 15

Let’s start the list with Apple’s big assault on email spammers with the Hide My Email function.

1. Hide My Email

Last year, Apple announced the Sign in with Apple function to temporarily hide your email address during app signups on the iPhone.  This time around, Apple is taking the whole experience to the next level with a system-wide Hide My Email function.

Following the iOS 15 update, you will be able to generate and use temporary email IDs on websites and online forms. iCloud will let you create random email addresses so that you don’t have to give away the real one.

Apple allows you to create as many throwaway email addresses as you like. Users have full control over the created email ID, and they can make additional changes from the Settings menu as well. If you wish to get emails from marketers to your email ID, there is an option for that as well.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to Profile > iCloud > Hide My Email. Here, you can create a new address and see the existing ones created by Apple for third-party apps and websites. You can tap on any email address and enable the Forward to original email address toggle.

hide my email

Post that, you will receive promotional emails without sharing your original email ID to the marketer or spammer. The new service aims to further limit companies’ ability to collect consumers’ personal data via email and help mitigate the rates at which users receive junk mail.

create dummy email

Hide My Email will be built directly into Safari, Mail, and iCloud settings. It will be a part of iCloud+. All the existing iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to the iCloud+ package automatically.

2. iCloud Private Relay

iCloud Private Relay is one of our favorite new additions to iCloud service. Private Relay hides your IP address and Safari browsing activity from network providers and websites so that no one — including Apple can see who you are or what sites you are visiting.

It basically shields your web traffic from prying eyes and spammers. Private Relay hides data from both the ISP and advertisers that aim to build your online profile. In theory, it works similar to a third-party VPN service out there. And there is no limit on data consumption as well.

iCloud Private Relay

Apple claims that it uses a dual-hop design with iCloud Relay, meaning even the company can’t see or track your browsing data, something that’s not available with third-party VPN apps.

Apple can’t see the websites you are visiting, it can only track IP addresses, and third-party trackers can only see websites you are requesting, leaving IP addresses out of the equation. By default, iCloud Private Relay is turned on from the Settings menu. If you feel a slow internet connection due to iCloud Private Relay, you can turn it off for a specific Wi-Fi network from the Settings menu.

iCloud Private Relay does lack a couple of features compared to a dedicated VPN service. There’s no location spoofing available. One can’t override the geographical limitations using the iCloud Private Relay. It’s also limited to the Safari browser at launch.

iCloud private relay in action

3. Unlimited Camera Support in HomeKit

iCloud+ levels up built-in support for HomeKit Secure Video so that users can connect more cameras than ever before in the Home app. The home security video footage is end-to-end encrypted, and it will not count against iCloud storage capacity. This was previously limited to five cameras.

homekit with icloud

4. Temporary iCloud Storage

Besides media, backing up your iPhone to iCloud storage takes away the big chunk of storage. If you are low on iCloud storage and want to use the iCloud backup function while switching to a new iPhone, Apple will lend you temporary iCloud storage for a seamless transition.

The company will lend you as much storage as you need to complete a temporary backup for up to three weeks. You can back up everything, including apps, data, and settings, and move it to a new device thanks to the additional iCloud storage granted by Apple.

5. Custom Domain Names with iCloud+

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 already allow users to use a custom email address for personal branding. It’s only logical for Apple to offer a similar feature for iCloud subscribers.

With iCloud+, support for custom domain names is now included. Users can personalize their iCloud Mail address with a custom domain name, and invite family members to use the same domain with their iCloud Mail accounts. With custom email domain names, Apple can target the education and business sector with iCloud+.

6. Add Recovery Account for iCloud

With iOS 15, Apple will let users add a recovery account of their friend or family member. Upon a request, Apple will send them a recovery code to gain back access to your account. This option could come in handy if you have forgotten the password of your iCloud account or cannot access it for some other reason.

7. Add Digital Legacy to iCloud

Apple has introduced a new add-on called Digital Legacy to iCloud. Using Digital Legacy, people can appoint their friends or family members to request their iCloud data when they pass away.

It’s quite evident that Apple wants to position iCloud as more than a cloud storage service. Instead of competing with Google Drive and OneDrive over features and per GB price, Apple is taking a different route to make iCloud stand out in the crowd. New privacy features perfectly align with Apple’s strong stance on privacy and security.

This is just a start and we feel Apple will announce new features to the iCloud+ pack down the line. Which is your favorite feature in iCloud in iOS 15? Sound off in the comments section below.