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Old 10-14-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
GlennD
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iCloud and multiple users

I've been intrigued by iCloud, especially as an easy way to synchronize calendars across multiple devices, used by my wife and I. One of the things I was concerned about though, was that from everything I was reading iCloud is keyed from your Apple ID. I'd found one forum reference to using a mobile.me email address but that appears to no longer be the case.

Just in case others are in a similar situation, I thought I'd post the info I got from our AT&T store manager today. (Yes, I'm a sucker and we got our 4S upgrades today. But we were upgrading from the 3G - it's long overdue. )

My wife and I each have an iPhone and an iPad; naturally (as I think most families do) we use a single Apple ID so we're not purchasing multiple copies of the same application. Great for apps, not so great for the cloud - if we fully enable iCloud syncing we will end up synching our devices to each other - anything one of us does on one device would get replicated to the other three.

I asked the AT&T store employee about this, to see if there is a way around it. He happened to be the manager, and he had called the manager of the local Apple store because he has the same issue. It turns out that at least for this iteration of iCloud there is no way around this problem - there is no way to differentiate your devices as being used by unique users. This stinks - I wonder if Apple is trying to force families to have multiple Apple IDs, so they end up spending more in the store.

Hopefully this saves someone some Google searching - iCloud information is a little scarce and confusing at the moment, since it's been in beta and changing a lot over the past year. Although if you DO find a good workaround or fix, I'd love to know about it. This problem basically makes icloud useless to us.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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I understand the store is separate from iCloud, so you can use/create a separate ID in your situation. That is what me and my partner do (he uses my ID in the Store, his own for the iCloud).
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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Oh, but, yes, I haven't yet looked at a way we can share a calendar without also sharing an iCloud ID. At the moment we use a shared, synced (with the iDevices) Google calendar.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GlennD View Post
I've been intrigued by iCloud, especially as an easy way to synchronize calendars across multiple devices, used by my wife and I. One of the things I was concerned about though, was that from everything I was reading iCloud is keyed from your Apple ID. I'd found one forum reference to using a mobile.me email address but that appears to no longer be the case.

Just in case others are in a similar situation, I thought I'd post the info I got from our AT&T store manager today. (Yes, I'm a sucker and we got our 4S upgrades today. But we were upgrading from the 3G - it's long overdue. )

My wife and I each have an iPhone and an iPad; naturally (as I think most families do) we use a single Apple ID so we're not purchasing multiple copies of the same application. Great for apps, not so great for the cloud - if we fully enable iCloud syncing we will end up synching our devices to each other - anything one of us does on one device would get replicated to the other three.

I asked the AT&T store employee about this, to see if there is a way around it. He happened to be the manager, and he had called the manager of the local Apple store because he has the same issue. It turns out that at least for this iteration of iCloud there is no way around this problem - there is no way to differentiate your devices as being used by unique users. This stinks - I wonder if Apple is trying to force families to have multiple Apple IDs, so they end up spending more in the store.

Hopefully this saves someone some Google searching - iCloud information is a little scarce and confusing at the moment, since it's been in beta and changing a lot over the past year. Although if you DO find a good workaround or fix, I'd love to know about it. This problem basically makes icloud useless to us.
I have read the exact opposite of this. That you can have one Apple ID for the store and then each device can have their own ID for the iCloud. I haven't tried it myself - I will be doing that tonight - but I have seen others post that it worked for them.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:07 PM   #5
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The iCloud stuff is pretty confusing-especially with the whole transition from MobileMe, multiple accounts, etc.
Macworld has been doing a great job of posting how-tos for iCloud and iOS5.

Here is Lex Friedman's article about sharing accounts:

Quote:
It's fairly easy to get started with iCloud if you use a single Apple ID solely on your own devices. But many families--including mine--share a single Apple ID across multiple people and devices, so that they can purchase apps and music once and give everybody in the family access. Must you all share that same Apple ID for iCloud, too?

No, you mustn't, and you probably shouldn't either. Just because my wife and I both want to own Hanging With Friends, that doesn't mean that we want to share the same contacts, inbox, or bookmarks. Using our existing Apple ID for iCloud would lead to just such unintended, undesired sharing. And sharing iCloud accounts would also mean that we have to share our backup space; we get 5GB of free iCloud storage from Apple, but merely updating my iPad and iPhone gobbled up more than 3 of those gigabytes. If my wife wanted to back up her iPad and iPhone to the same iCloud account as me, we'd be up iCloud creek without a parachute--by which I mean, we'd quickly run out of free space.

The good news is that you can continue to share an Apple ID for iTunes purchases with your family while maintaining individual, separate iCloud accounts. And the even better news is that Apple totally approves of your doing so, so you needn't feel guilty about it.
And here is Serenity Caldwell's article:

Quote:
But what if I share my Apple ID? If multiple people use your Apple ID (say, if you have one central account for your, your spouse’s, and your children’s purchases), you can still use this ID among you for purchases, but each person will have to create a separate iCloud account for syncing and backup.

For example, if you have an Apple ID (or MobileMe account) you use between you, your significant other, and your daughter for purchases, but they'd like to take advantage of iCloud's sync and storage features, you'll want to do the following: Have each family member sign up for an iCloud account for their backups, mail, etc; then, after setting up iCloud on their iOS devices, go to the Store preference pane within the Settings app, sign out of the iCloud account (which will populate there automatically after you sign up), then sign into the original Apple ID you use for purchases.

If the Apple ID your family uses for purchases is also your primary account for syncing (if it's a MobileMe account, for example), you personally can use it for iCloud; but your family members will need to create separate iCloud accounts so that they don't accidentally end up syncing with your information.

Last edited by kjk; 10-14-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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For what it's worth, I've discovered that apparently if you go to the iCloud.com website on your computer and login, you can create a calendar and share it with other iCloud members (you can't do this from your iPad or iPhone though, either via the Calendar app or the website). I'll have to get on that, as this will solve my own shared-calendar wish.

I think that to share contacts (but keep some contacts separate), unless you share them individually, you can create another iCloud id and use it as the shared point for common contacts (add the new iCloud id under the settings for Mail/Contacts/Calendar). I have yet to try this, so unless you feel like experimenting feel free to ignore this until I mess up and destroy everything first, or you find better information.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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Thank you for the info, everyone. You're right; you can add another Apple ID and use it specifically for iCloud. You do get a note that "Only your main account can use Photo Stream, Documents and Data, and Backup"....but I can live with that.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:58 PM   #8
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Thank you for the info, everyone. You're right; you can add another Apple ID and use it specifically for iCloud. You do get a note that "Only your main account can use Photo Stream, Documents and Data, and Backup"....but I can live with that.
Yes, I can live with it too, now that I've tried it. It seems like it'll work well for us, though time will tell I guess. Thanks for raising it, Glenn.

Cheers,
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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For what it's worth, I've discovered that apparently if you go to the iCloud.com website on your computer and login, you can create a calendar and share it with other iCloud members.
What is really nice about this is that you can set up shared Reminders as well-so you can have a separate list of Reminders that anyone (that you want) can receive, add to, and mark off as done, i.e. shopping list items, chores, walking the dog...

OK, no one else is actually going to mark those off as done-but at least they can see them and add more
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:33 PM   #10
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Not so much "reminders" as a list of family infractions you can refer to later.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #11
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I'm not seeing the ability to share calendars anywhere on the icloud web site, even when using my PC to view it. Am I missing an obvious button somewhere?
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:17 PM   #12
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I'm not seeing the ability to share calendars anywhere on the icloud web site, even when using my PC to view it. Am I missing an obvious button somewhere?
GlennD,
Do you see a little circle with waves coming out of it to the right of the calendar/reminder names? Click on that to share.

The circles show on this screenshot: http://www.karthikk.net/wp-content/u...allery-101.png
(sorry for the size)

edit: Here is a tutorial: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-...eminders-list/
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #13
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I downloaded iCloud. LETDOWN! It doesnt "auto sync" as someboy had posted. I wish I hadn't wasted 10 minutes doing that. Oh well.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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I downloaded iCloud. LETDOWN! It doesnt "auto sync" as someboy had posted. I wish I hadn't wasted 10 minutes doing that. Oh well.
I'm not sure what this means, as I would have said, simply, that "auto sync" is precisely what it does do. Could you elaborate on the issue, in case it's something fixable (a "bug" rather than a "feature" )?

Cheers,
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:39 AM   #15
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Thanks for starting this thread, I had the same questions. I updated my daughter's iPod Touch to iOS5 last night. It asked for her Apple ID and I entered our shared one, and I received an email stating an iCloud account had been created with that shared ID. How do I go about creating a new iCloud account for her with her name but still linked to the shared Apple ID? Do I do it through her iPod or directly on the iCloud website?
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