Monitoring iMessages on a child’s iPod touch

Q: I have an iPhone with my own Apple ID and my eight-year-old daughter has an iPod touch with her own Apple ID. Am I able to set iMessage syncing so I get my messages AND all of her messages sent to my iPhone, without having any of MY messages sent to her iPod touch? Would I just add her Apple ID and password on my iPhone? Will I then get messages for both accounts? And would she still only get her messages like normal, but would NOT be get any of my messages? How would I set that up on my iPhone so all the texting with my contacts will be sent from my iPhone, but will still be able to view and monitor all her iPod touch messages?

– Anonymous

Monitoring iMessages on a child’s iPod touch

A: Each iOS device can only normally use a single Apple ID for iMessage, so unfortunately you won’t be able to monitor or share iMessage history unless you’re also both sharing the same Apple ID on both of your devices.

That said, however, you can assign multiple e-mail addresses to a single Apple ID and one or more of those e-mail addresses can be assigned to each device.

So in the scenario that you’re describing, the solution would be to setup iMessage on your daughter’s iPod touch to use your Apple ID, but only configure it for her e-mail address.

You could then configure both your own iMessage e-mail address and her e-mail address on your iPhone to receive messages sent to both.

On your iPhone, you would also use the Caller ID setting to ensure that any new iMessages you send from your device originate from your own e-mail address. Note, however, that this will only affect new conversations—replies in existing iMessage conversations will come from the address that was originally used for the conversation.

It’s also important to note that if your daughter already has an Apple ID setup with her own e-mail address, you will not be able to add that e-mail address to your own Apple ID, as a given e-mail address can only be associated with a single Apple ID at a time.

To get around this, you can either change her Apple ID to use a different e-mail address, or set her up with a new e-mail address specifically for use with iMessage.

Keep in mind that the Apple ID used by iMessage does not have to be the same as the Apple ID used by other services on an iOS device, so your daughter can still continue to use her own Apple ID for things like Game Center, FaceTime, iCloud and the iTunes Store if it’s more appropriate than sharing your Apple ID for any of those features.

There is also one important caveat to the above: As easily as you can monitor your daughter’s iMessage conversations, she could also potentially add your e-mail address to her iPod touch to also receive any iMessages that come in addressed to you. She would have to specifically do this by typing in your e-mail address in her iMessage settings, but it’s worth mentioning that it is certainly possible for her to do this and there is no additional security on your account or on the iOS side that would prevent this.