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?
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- Report: Apple developing Siri home speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo; will release Siri SDK at WWDC
- iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- 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
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)