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iCloud for the web gets a smooth, more powerful beta redesign

iCloud shift —

Apple’s cloud services portal now lets you prioritize the apps you actually use.

Kevin Purdy

Apple managed to release at least one more version in an already crowded October. The web-based interface for iCloud has been redesigned to be more customizable and visually appealing. Worth a collection, especially if you occasionally mix Apple-made devices with other computers.

The biggest difference is customization. The current iCloud portal presents you with a grid of large buttons when you log in, which you cannot move or change. It’s a slight irritant if you don’t use some of these services, or want to quickly create new notes, calendar appointments, or other items without going into the app. The beta version, accessible at beta.icloud.com (or via a link on the current iCloud website), lets you choose which iCloud items deserve their own widgets and how to arrange them, and gives you a “+” button to quickly create New item, in widget and top right corner.

iCloud’s portal, which works for most people these days, is just a nudge to see the beta redesign.

iCloud in its beta version, with removable, customizable widgets, and easier access to create new projects.
Of course, Apple hasn’t completely abandoned its rigidity. When viewed in wider browsers, widgets can be two columns wide, but only one per row, with alternating left/right alignment down the page. Most people don’t use iCloud’s web interface as their primary interface, but it provides convenient access to your data when you’re on a non-Apple machine or not signed in. The apps have the same interface and functionality as before.
There is no indication of when the beta might become the default view, so if you are in The web is more frequent than “when I remember it existed” and it might be worth bookmarking a more useful version.

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