The iCloud Message sync feature from Apple has been a much anticipated feature for quite some time now. With every new iOS release, we have checked to see if the feature made it to our devices. iOS 11.3 is here to help you fulfill that desire!
The ability to save your messages in the iCloud and have it synced across all your Apple devices briefly appeared when Apple released the original iOS 11 betas but was quickly removed for some internal reasons.
Why Use the iCloud Message Sync Feature
Many of us like to save our old iMessages and text messages. If you use messaging on your Apple Watch today, you know that it requires you to explicitly delete a message in order to remove it.
In other words, it does not sync automatically with your iPhone Messaging service. You would guess that deleting a message from your iPhone will auto-delete it from your watch, but that doesn’t work today.
There are users who also prefer setting up their iPhone as a new device when major iOS upgrades are released. The idea being that any bugs in the existing software is completely removed when installing the new iOS. These users have had to struggle to figure out a way to retain their message history.
How to Use iCloud Message Sync?
Once you are up and running on iOS 11.3 and tap on Messages app for the first time, you will see this new screen.
Tap on ‘Use iCloud’ if you are ready to continue. In order to use this new feature, you will need two factor authentication on your Apple Id.
If you are not yet setup for 2FA, follow the prompts and you can easily set it up. Once you have done that, it will request you to enter your device passcode.
This feature also requires that you have the iCloud backup enabled on your device.
Upon confirming your credentials, the auto sync will start on its own. You don’t have to do anything. You will see the status at the bottom of your screen. It should say ‘Syncing Messages with iCloud…’
What is interesting is that all my devices had different message histories and every time I added an additional device, it added in the unique messages on that device into iCloud and copied all the missing messages to that device.
As of this writing, the feature is only available in iOS 11.3 developers Beta that was released this week. The general iOS 11.3 is expected to be released to the public sometime this spring.