Families and Apple ID's

Dear Dad, Mom, and children, Do you ever get frustrated with your Apple Devices sharing content, pictures, texts, and apps with other family members? We examine a few scenarios and give some sound advice to solve these conundrums.

[quote author="Mom" bar="true" align="left" width="full"]Every time my daughter downloads an app, it shows up on my phone too.  How do I prevent that?[/quote]

[quote author="Dad, Mom, and Teens" bar="true" align="left" width="full"]I have a warning on my phone that says there is not enough space to back up.  What does this mean? How do I take care of it?[/quote]

I get questions like these quite often from families that visit our stores.  I almost always reply with a question, “Do you share the same apple id”?  Usually the answer is yes.

I’m a husband of one and a father of three.  We’ve gone through this headache as well.  I’ve discovered, along the way, a 3 simple steps that can be done to keep everything easy and uncomplicated.

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[toggle title="1. New ID for Jr."] Create an Apple ID for each person in the house.  In order to do this, each person will also need an email address. [/toggle]

[toggle title="2. Protect the Password"] Do not tell your child the password to the apple ID. This does a few things. First, it forces them to have to come to you for approval of purchase. This is really nice if you have your credit card attached to the Apple ID. Secondly you know what they are viewing, listening to, and playing.  Some of you may not want to have your credit card associated with your child’s Apple ID. That’s fine, set them up with an iTunes gift card.  You can even pay your children for work performed or reward them, with iTunes gift cards. Then, when they run out of money on that gift card, but want to purchase something, you have an opportunity to teach them something that even the government should learn.  That you can’t spend what you don’t have. [/toggle]

[toggle title="3. Take it With You"] When your child grows up and leaves the house, they can take their music, apps, books and a financial understanding with them, and there is no arguing over who owns what. [/toggle]

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I know that to some this may seem like a hassle, but when you set this up early, you can avoid headaches later.  Each person has their own iCloud backup so you wont be trying to connect 5 devices to one iCloud that would eat up the 5GB of free space extremely fast.

[quote author="Husband and Wife" bar="true" align="left" width="full"] I don't want to separate our Apple ID's, it's just the two of us. [/quote]

Some of you just don’t want to go that route, perhaps there is only two of you in the house and that’s fine.  The question still remains though, how do you separate who gets what on which device?  There are some steps that actually work.

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[toggle title="Scenario #1 My wife or child gets all of my text."]

Let’s clear the air just a bit so there is no confusion.  Text Message and iMessage are not the same thing.  The typical text message is sent through a cellular data service provider (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or whoever), and is transferred to the recipient. Depending on your cell phone plan, you could be charged for the text message. But then there is iMessage, when you send a text message to someone that has an Apple ID, the Messages app automatically recognizes that person’s Apple ID and routes the message through Apple’s servers instead of using the cell phone carrier and avoids texting charges from the carrier.

To be clear, your wife or child is not intercepting all text messages, just the iMessages.  To prevent that from continuing, we need to make an adjustment.

On your device go to

Settings > Messages > Send & Receive

Then select or deselect how that device can receive iMessages.  You can choose the phone number associated with the phone, the Apple ID, or any email address you choose.  If you do decide to use a different email follow the instructions on our Alternate iMessage Email guide.

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[toggle title="Scenario #2 When my child/husband downloads an app, it appears on my device."]

Simply turn off automatic downloads option. On your device select

Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads

This section has the option to have Automatic Downloads turned on for Music, Apps, Books and Updates.itunesAppstore-iconibooksAppstore-icon[/toggle]

[toggle title="Scenario #3 We want to share music, but not all of it."]

Like Scenario 2, you need to turn off automatic downloads first. There are two ways to go about this.  First you can stream via the cloud. Your music will not actually be on your device, but is available to stream if you have a wifi connection or a cellular connection.  Remember though, rates may apply.  The second choice is to sync the music you want through itunes on your computer.  See our Syncing via iTunes blog for further instructions.

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[toggle title="Scenario #4 (Almost Explicit Content) My 7-year-old son has seen questionable pictures of us. What do we do?"]

First, flush your sons eyes out with water. Second, explain that this is what married couples only do. Third. Turn off photo stream on his iPad.  Then set up a shared stream for only you and your wife.

Select

Settings > iCloud > Photos

Make sure that photos are turned off here on the device you do not want your Almost Explicit Content to go to.

To create a shared stream for you and you spouse go to your photos on your device.  Then select Shared at the bottom followed by the + new shared stream… Name the stream and select next.  You will be prompted to invite someone to view these photos.  Note that in order for them to participate, they must have an apple ID.

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