WWDC 2021: Apple just added some handy features to iCloud Plus bundle at no extra cost
Apple is now going to bundle a VPN, a private email, and HomeKit camera storage to the iCloud+ plan with no extra cost.
Apple announced some upgrades to the iCloud last evening at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021 keynote which essentially got lost in the whole deluge of other news. So just to remind those who already use Apple’s iCloud service, there are some pretty handy new additions coming your way. Apple is amping up iCloud with a new bunch of features and calling it iCloud+. Under iCloud+, the storage service is going to now come with access to a VPN, burner email addresses, and unlimited storage for HomeKit-enabled home security cameras.
Apple calls the VPN in iCloud+ Private Relay. This is going to route your internet traffic through two relays to mask who is browsing and where the data is coming from. Now, Apple is strictly calling this a VPN at all, they are trying to distinguish Private Relay from traditional VPNs because it sends data through a second hop/relay. That second hop prevents anyone, including Apple, from seeing all of your browsing data, as Apple explained.
Next, the burner email feature that is a part of the iCloud+ is called Hide My Email. This will let you create a single-use email addresses that will forward the email to your actual account. So, you can provide a junk email to a service that you don’t trust or don’t want junk mail from. This feature is an addition to the Sign In With Apple feature that already exists.
Finally, Apple iCloud+ will also include unlimited storage for video from HomeKit-enabled home security cameras. Currently, you need to pay for at least 200GB of iCloud storage to be able to record video for one camera, and to be able to support more streams you need to pay for a higher tier.
All of these new features are supposed to be included with the existing iCloud plans at no additional cost. However, Apple has not mentioned if the feature would be available on its cheapest iCloud plans that currently do not support HomeKit video storage.
Additionally, Apple has also introduced some new features to manage your iCloud account better. There is a new recovery feature that will allow Apple to message security codes to your trusted friends and family if you have lost your device and need to access iCloud. There is also a “Digital Legacy” feature that lets someone you trust access your files after you die.