Messages in iCloud finally arrive in iOS 11.4 to fix your iMessage-syncing woes / Almost a full year after it was announced

With the introduction of iOS 11.4, Apple finally makes its long-awaited Messages in iCloud functionality available. On the eve of the release of iOS 12 next week, all users may now use Messages on iCloud, which was initially mentioned over a year ago when Apple first demonstrated iOS 11 at WWDC 2017.

Although Messages on iCloud are quite tricky, here is what it accomplishes:

  • iCloud stores all of your messages, including SMS and iMessages, from all of your devices, improving device synchronization.
  • synchronizes deleted threads and messages across all of your iCloud devices so that when you remove a discussion or message, it is erased everywhere rather than needing to be purged repeatedly on each device.
  • saves local storage space on your phone by storing photographs, attachments, and older texts from your devices in iCloud.
  • Since messages are no longer included in iCloud backups (unlike the previous approach, which kept everything locally on all devices and repeatedly backed up each bundled collection of messages and attachments as part of each device’s backup), it is possible to create smaller backups on the cloud.
  • Sync all of your previous messages to new Apple devices so that they will sync your full message history, rather than just the most recent messages when you purchase a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

There’s a lot there, but it all comes down to two things: improving message synchronization between all of your devices (old and new), and reducing the amount of storage your messages and the files and photographs they include take up.

Users must choose to utilize Messages in iCloud by navigating to the Settings app, selecting their Apple ID, and then select iCloud. Users must have two-factor authentication enabled as a security precaution; if you don’t, activating Messages on iCloud will immediately open a tutorial to assist you in setting it up (and really, you should do that anyway).

To activate it on a Mac, open the Message program, choose Preferences, and then tick the “Messages in iCloud” option. To utilize Message in iCloud with all of your devices, you must manually enable this on each device.

Messages in iCloud may use a little bit extra space on your iCloud storage, as was previously mentioned. Theoretically, since your locally saved messages and attachments won’t be included in the backup for each device, you’ll save some space, but it’s still not obvious how the storage situation will turn out overall. (It will likely depend on the quantity of Apple devices you own and the size of your iMessage backup.) However, if you have someone who has trouble with iCloud storage, especially if you’re on Apple’s 5GB plan, it’s something to think about.

How it works

With this week’s release of iOS 11.4 comes the long-awaited Messages in iCloud functionality, although it isn’t entirely intuitive without a little assistance. Apple doesn’t make it clear how to turn it on, grasp how it functions everywhere, save crucial messages, or comprehend the benefits it truly provides, but we’ve got it worked out for you.

Correction: clarified how the new mechanism interacts with iCloud backups. No messages are included in iCloud backups when using Messages in iCloud. Recent communications would still be included in the backup, according to the original article.

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