Renaming an iOS device | iLounge Article

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Renaming an iOS device

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, April 15, 2011
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge, iOS

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.

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Q: They will eventually release the iPhone 5 and I am planning on getting one. In the mean time I want to rename my iPhone 3G so that when I get my new phone I can still add games and other apps to my old phone and use it like an iPod touch. I know how to rename my device using iTunes. My question is, does changing the name on the phone cause iTunes to do anything to the things already stored on the phone? In other words, will it do a restore to factory settings so that I have to start over? Or does it really just change the name of the device?

- Thom

A: The short answer is that it really just changes the name of the device. Nothing more and nothing less.

The actual name of the iPhone is mostly meaningless and is used primarily for display purposes in iTunes. With the addition of Personal Hotspot in iOS 4.3 it also becomes your default wireless network name. Beyond that, however, it doesn’t really matter what you call your iPhone. Internally, each iPhone has a Unique Device Identifier (UDID) that cannot normally be changed. This UDID is how iTunes keeps track of your specific iPhone in terms of sync settings and backups. Some third-party apps that store device-specific user profiles can also use the UDID for this purpose.

Note that content purchased from the iTunes Store, whether it be applications or media content, is not associated even with your UDID, much less your device’s name. The only thing that matters for this is your iTunes Store account, which becomes associated with your device either by loading on purchased content through iTunes, or logging into the iTunes or App Store on your device.

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Comments

1

Jesse-it’s pretty easy to make out the domain of your email address. Might wanna cover it up a little better wink

Posted by Clint on April 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

2

Heh, it’s not a huge secret (nor is it hard for anybody to figure out smile ), but still worth blurring it just to keep the casual observers (and OCR-bots) away.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on April 15, 2011 at 1:32 PM (PDT)

3

An alternate cause of and solution to Kara’s SMTP issue: she may be set up to use AT&T’s SMTP server, which works over AT&T’s cellular network but not wifi. She may just need to change (or add) the SMTP server for her ISP or e-mail provider.

Posted by Ward on April 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM (PDT)

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