Renaming an iOS device
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: 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?
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.
- 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 to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Report: iPhone 7 will include Lightning adapter instead of Lightning EarPods
- Edward Snowden designing device to prevent iPhone wiretapping
- Report: Apple Car team running into challenges, launch may slip to 2021
- Corning announces Gorilla Glass 5
- Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+
- Report: Apple acquires cloud music provider Omnifone? [Update: No]
- Apple releases second iOS 10 public beta
- India clears the way for Apple to open retail stores
- Apple Pay launches in Hong Kong
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Incase Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
- 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