App Store accounts and iCloud document sharing
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have two iCloud accounts, one for family and a personal one for myself. I want to be able to share documents and data between my iPhone and my new MacBook Pro with apps such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. I already have those apps on my iPhone that were bought with the family account and I want to sync them with the apps I plan to buy on my MacBook Pro. Do I have to buy these apps on my MacBook Pro using the family account, or can I buy them with my personal account and still have them synced with the same documents and data as the apps on my iPhone? On my iPhone I use the music and apps through my family account but everything else such as mail, contacts, notes, etc is connected with my personal account.
A: The short answer is that the account used to purchase an app has absolutely no connection to the iCloud account used to sync data for that app. iCloud documents and data are simply synced with the iCloud account you are using on your device.
When using multiple iCloud accounts, the main point to keep in mind is that the account you want to sync documents and data with—your personal account in this case—must be setup as the primary iCloud account on your device. Basically, this means that it must be the account that is configured under the main iCloud section in your iOS Settings app, and the first account configured on your Mac. The Documents & Data setting will only appear for the primary iCloud account; secondary iCloud accounts can only be used for Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Notes in addition to the primary account, and for Safari Bookmarks/Reading List and Find My iPhone instead of the primary account.
As long as the Documents & Data setting is enabled in your iCloud preferences, all iCloud-enabled apps will store their data in this iCloud account regardless of the account used to purchase the actual app.
Technically we’re actually talking about two completely separate “accounts” that simply use the same Apple ID and password: An iTunes Store account to purchase the apps, and an iCloud account used to sync your data. These accounts are not really connected in any other way beyond sharing a common Apple ID in order to provide you with a “single sign-on” experience. The same holds true for accounts used for FaceTime, iMessage, and Game Center—none of these have any inherent connection to each other beyond the Apple ID used to access them, so for example you do not need to use the same Game Center account as the App Store account that was used to purchase or download a given game either.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Cirrus Logic releases development kit for Lightning headphones
- Report details Apple Music’s vision for exclusive content
- Walgreens adds digital coupons to Apple Pay
- China orders Apple and others to monitor, report on app users
- South Korea regulators investigating Apple
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 26
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Philips Hue White Ambience Starter Kit
- Naim Audio Mu-so Qb Speaker
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app