Configure Apple IDs on family iOS devices
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 an iPhone 4 with iOS 5. My iCloud account is set up with my Apple ID. My two kids are each getting their own iPod touch soon. They each have games on my iPhone that are backed up to my iCloud account. When I set up their new iPods I want to be able to download their games to their new devices with the progress made on my iPhone intact. I’m thinking I would need to set up two additional cloud accounts on my iPhone with the same Apple ID (one for the apps specific to each kid) but with a new description of the account, then use those accounts on each iPod to download the apps with the data intact. Am I correct? I also want to be able to use my Apple ID for all purchases (songs, apps, videos) for all devices so I can control what they purchase and so they can download previously purchased songs and videos. So I would just use the same Apple ID for the Store in Settings on each iPod touch, correct? By doing this, will each kid be able to have their own iCloud account that gives them each 5 GB of storage for free or will all devices share the same 5 GB that I started with my original iCloud account? I also want each kid to have their own iMessage and FaceTime “accounts” and I assume they do not need a new Apple ID for this and that they only need their own email address to make this work. Correct? Sorry for the list of questions but the cloud has me a little confused and I’m looking to maximize use of all of these features while controlling the content on the iPod touches since my kids are young.
A: This first important point to keep in mind is that there are five features on an iOS 5 device that use an Apple ID—iCloud, the iTunes Store, iMessage, FaceTime and Game Center. These can either use the same Apple ID, you can use five completely different ones or you can go with any combination you like; the Apple ID’s used for each of these features are in no way related to each other.
With regard to restoring your kids’ games to the new iPods, unless you’re using one of the very few games that actually directly store game progress in iCloud (as opposed to simply in an iCloud backup) there is no way to automatically get that data back simply by logging into an iCloud account. If you install the apps fresh on a new device, you start with a fresh set of data.
The only workaround is to restore your iPhone backup to each of the new iPods; a backup can be restored to any device running the same or later version of iOS that was used to originally make the backup, regardless of the type or model of device. Doing this will restore everything that is on your iPhone onto each iPod touch, including the saved game data. You can then go through and delete all of the apps and other data you don’t want on the new iPods. Note that there are some third-party utilities that can extract specific data out of an iTunes backup and allow you to restore that data individually, but they generally require some knowledge of what specific files you’re looking for and in this case it’s probably far easier just to do a full restore and then delete what you don’t need.
Beyond that, you can setup each of your kids with their own iCloud accounts and they will get their own 5GB of free storage and have their own set of iCloud features such as Photo Stream, Documents, Backups, Calendars, Contacts, and so forth. You can also setup multiple iCloud accounts on a given device if you wanted to share certain types of information with more than one device. See Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iCloud for more information on how to do this.
For the iTunes Store, you are correct that you can simply setup each device with the same iTunes Store account on the Store section under the Settings app. This will allow you to share all purchases and download previous purchases, but keep in mind that a password will be required each time you want to download something, including previously purchased content. Another alternative if you want your kids to be able to control their own purchasing somewhat is to set them up each with their own iTunes Store account and then use the iTunes Allowance feature to provide them with their own money to spend on either a one-time or monthly basis. The downside to this approach, however, is that they won’t be able to easily share content between devices except by syncing it via iTUnes. They will also only be able to switch accounts for re-downloading content once every 90 days.
For iMessage and FaceTime, you can either share a family Apple ID and simply have them add their own e-mail addresses to the “family” account or you can have them each use their own Apple IDs. If they will have their own iCloud account, they can use that Apple ID for iMessage and FaceTime as well, which which will probably be easier as you cannot associate the same e-mail address with more than one Apple ID.
- 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?
- Apple’s exclusive audiobook deal with Audible ends in Europe following EU antitrust scrutiny
- Nintendo officially announces Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS, coming Feb. 2
- Rumor: Apple working on second-generation Apple Pencil
- GarageBand 2.2 adds Logic Pro X integration, Alchemy synth, Multi-Take Recording
- FTC files complaint against Qualcomm citing royalty deal with Apple
- India mulling manufacturing regulation changes which could woo Apple
- Apple Music creative team discusses the service’s exclusives, future
- Apple raising UK App Store prices by more than 25 percent
- Iovine fuels speculation about Apple’s interest in scripted TV shows
- Report: ‘iPhone 8’ to include upgraded water resistance
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- 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