Using Multiple FaceTime devices in the same family

Q: How do I get my two daughters with the fourth-generation iPod touch to be able to FaceTime each other? Our family uses the same iTunes library to share apps and music. If I set up another account, doesn’t that mean they won’t share the same stuff? They can FaceTime us to our iPhone 4 but we want to FaceTime to them and it goes to both devices.

– Cory

Using Multiple FaceTime devices in the same family

A: There are a couple of ways that you can accomplish this. Firstly, the Apple ID configured for FaceTime does not have to be the same as the one used for iTunes, and in fact has nothing to do with your iTunes Store account or your purchased content. This means that each of your daughters can easily setup their own Apple IDs to be used just for FaceTime without interfering with purchased music, videos or apps or synchronization with iTunes.

In other words, you can be logged into FaceTime with one Apple ID and logged into the iTunes Store with another at the same time. In fact if you look in your device settings you will see that the iTunes Store account is configured under the Store options while the FaceTime Apple ID is configured under the FaceTime options.

So in this case, each daughter could setup their own, new Apple ID right on the iPod touch, verify their personal e-mail address, and then use that address to place and receive FaceTime calls. By default, this Apple ID would be used only for FaceTime, but could optionally also be used for other Apple-related features such as Game Center or even for a separate iTunes Store account if you so desired. This is probably the most straightforward solution, as each user would manage their own Apple ID password and other preferences.

As an alternative, however, you can associate multiple e-mail addresses with a single Apple ID and even assign multiple addresses to a single device. In this case, each daughter could add her own e-mail address to FaceTime on her own iPod touch. Since each address would only be on one device, calls to that address would only ring that device.


Using Multiple FaceTime devices in the same family

You could optionally choose to keep the “family” address on both devices as well if you wanted to place calls that would ring both, but keep in mind that FaceTime doesn’t support group calling, so whichever device answered first would get the call.

Keep in mind that while you can have multiple e-mail addresses associated with a single Apple ID, the reverse is not true—a given e-mail address can only be associated with one Apple ID at a time.