Don’t keep all your Apples in one basket

We recently updated our Mac computers so now all our computers and devices support both the App store and iCloud. Up to now, all of our family systems and devices have been managed with one Apple ID. That is about to change.

There are several issues at work here. First and foremost is managing the purchase of apps, music, books and other media. One Apple ID can support up to 10 devices so we only need to purchase one copy of an app to use it on both our computers (Mac apps) or devices (iOS apps). We can also share music and books with all our devices – again from the one account.

That all works out well until you start using iCloud and new apps like FaceTime and Messages. While I do like having my contacts, reminders and calendar items automatically synched between my computer and devices, I don’t particularly want them on all my husband’s stuff – nor does he want his on mine. And, how does someone contact me via Messages or FaceTime when we’re both on the same Apple ID? The answer is . . . huh?

The way to deal with this is by creating multiple Apple IDs. There should be one family ID that does all the purchasing – apps, music, books and such. It should be the Apple ID listed in iTunes and the App Store on each computer and device in the family. Then, each individual has their own Apple ID which is used to set up iCloud on that person’s computer and iStuff. Each of these Apple IDs is associated with a different email address. The email address associated with your iCloud Apple ID is the one family and friends will use to contact you in Messages and FaceTime.

It’s a little confusing at first, but you only have to set it up once. You won’t have to worry about it again until you’re ready to update your computers or devices. Hopefully that won’t be for a while . . .

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