Chris Pepin

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apple, iCloud, iPad, iPhone, iTunes

How I have my Apple iDevices configured

A colleague recently asked me how I have my Apple iPhone, iPad, Mac, AppleTV and Apple Watch configured. While everyone will have their personal preferences, here are mine:

iTunes – I use a single iTunes ID for all my Apple devices as well as my family. This allows all my iTunes (music, videos, book) and App Store (apps) purchases to be available on all devices. While I was initially excited with the prospect of the new iOS 8 Family Sharing feature, I was disappointed to learn that it doesn’t support iTunes Match (see below) so I’m unable to use it. I use the same iTunes id for work and personal, for iCloud and iMessage. However, my wife and kids each have a unique Apple ID that they use for iCloud and iMessage (see below).

Apple Music – I purchased a family subscription for my wife and three kids and we love Apple Music. I have a large MP3 music collection in my iTunes library. I also subscribe to Sirius/XM satellite radio in my two cars and use the mobile app extensively to listen to music both at home when connected to wi-fi as well as when traveling and using cellular with unlimited data from AT&T (DirecTV 2016 promotion). Apple Music includes iTunes Match. Our family has a large number of MP3’s that we own and playlists which are available on all our devices.  Unfortunately, iTunes Match doesn’t support Family Sharing isn’t supported so each of our devices (maximum of 10) needs to log into the same iTunes account.

iCloud – Each of the members in our family has their own iCloud account in their own name.  It’s easy and free to create a new id on Some members of my family makes due with the free 5GB account but others, including myself, pay $1 a month for the 50GB.  Photos and iOS backups take up the most amount of space.  Apple is introducing a new family sharing option for $2.99 that includes 200GB when iOS 11 ships this fall. A great feature of iCloud is the ability to sync photos, mail, contacts, calendars, reminders, notes, Safari (browser bookmarks, history), News, Home, Wallet and Game Center across all Apple devices (iOS and Mac)

iMessage and FaceTime – Each of the members in our family uses the same iCloud id for their iMessage and FaceTime ids on all their iOS devices.  If you use the same id for each family member, everyone will get each other’s messages  I’ve configured my iOS devices so if I get a message on one device, I get the message on them on all. My kids have disabled this feature.  I’ve also configured all my iOS devices to ring when I get a phonemail or text message. As an AT&T customer, I’ve also enabled NumberSync so I can receive phone calls on my iPad even when I don’t have my iPhone with me.

Find my iPhone/iPad – enabled on all my devices and I use it at least a couple times a month to find one of my kids lost devices.

Find My Friends app – installed on all our iPhone and iPad. We’ve invited each other to share our locations. We also have “Notify Me” alerts set (e.g. when the kids arrive home, at school etc.).  It’s an incredibly useful app.

That summarizes my recommendations and preferences. What are yours?

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  1. Hit enter too soon….I didn't understand the tradeoffs…until I read this post! Now I have a starting point.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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