If you don’t have hardware that belongs in the Apple ecosystem, using Apple services might make you feel like a second-class citizen at times. For example, iTunes is still around on Windows, and the iCloud app has been rough for a while. Thankfully, there’s now a new and improved iCloud app for Windows PCs.
Apple has released a revamped iCloud app for Windows users, in an attempt to improve synchronization for those iPhone and iPad owners who aren’t all-in on Mac computers. The new app, compatible with Windows 10 and 11, introduces a streamlined setup process for smoother initiation and features a syncing status indicator for various services, offering clearer visibility of download and upload progress. Just like before, you can use it to open your syncronized files on a Windows PC, check passwords, and view other data in your Apple account.
Among the many improvements in this redesigned app, you now have the option to utilize a physical security key for Apple ID authentication. The updated app also minimizes sign-in prompts, enhances photo-syncing performance with Microsoft Photos, and provides convenient shortcuts to access other Apple services.
Apple overhauled the iCloud.com website back in November 2022, incorporating functionalities such as browser notifications for Mail and Calendar on PCs, a customizable homepage enabling quick actions, and a slideshow view for photos. It’s good to see Apple giving some love for the Windows app as well.
This follows a recent pattern in Apple making its apps and services more accessible on Windows computers. Notably, apps like Apple Music and Apple TV have transitioned out of preview and are available as standalone applications on Windows. iCloud is just the latest app to take this step. Furthermore, a dedicated Devices app facilitates device management, eliminating the necessity for users to resort to iTunes for such tasks. While the iTunes app persists on the platform, its primary role now revolves around accessing podcasts and audiobooks.
If you want to give the new iCloud app a spin, you can download it from the Microsoft Store. It requires Windows 10 version 18362.145 or newer, and while it’s only officially compatible with 64-bit x86 PCs, there are Store reviews of it running successfully on the ARM-based Surface Pro X.