Configure your iPhones after moving to iOS 5.0 and iCloud

  • I use a family shared Apple ID for iTunes purchases, tied to a credit card.
  • I use an individual Apple ID for each phone’s iCloud.com access (same @me.com email addresses we used as MobileMe users, 1 Family Pack and 1 Individual).
  • I suspect many other families are doing something very similar, to save on the cost of buying apps, sharing them among all immediate family members, as Apple explains here.

I then figured this list, that I created for my family use, might also be useful for others.

The goal is for each phone has its own email, contacts, calendars, etc, while also sharing all iTunes Store purchases, and each phone can be located if lost by me, the family plan account holder.

Here’s a look at the checklist I personally followed, when “redeploying” my extended family’s 6 iPhones 4 devices on Oct 13 2011.

    1. Tap “Find My iPhone” app and configure individual Apple ID and password
    2. Download “Find Friends” app and login with individual Apple ID,
      send invites to all family’s individual Apple ID email addresses, then accept those invites on each phone
    3. Tap “iTunes” app and configure shared Apple ID
    4. Tap Settings, iCloud, Find My iPhone, move slider to “On”
    5. Tap Settings, iCloud, Account, and type in your individual Apple ID
    6. Tap Settings, Music, Home Sharing, and type in your shared Apple ID
    7. Tap Settings, Video, Home Sharing, and type in your shared Apple ID
    8. Tap Settings, Photos, Photo Stream, move slider to “On”
    9. Tap Settings, Store, Apple ID, and be sure it has your shared Apple ID,
      consider turning on “Automatic Downloads” for Music, Apps, and/or Books.
    10. Tap Settings, General, Restrictions,
      consider enabling restrictions on “Location” and “Accounts” to reduce risk stolen in the unlocked state
    11. Consider backing up to a computer that is backed up daily, this way, you’ll be able to roll back or
      just pull data from any day using iphonebackupextractor.com, if necessary
    12. Configure WiFi Sync using the excellent set of instructions here:
      osxdaily.com/2011/10/13/wi-fi-sync-for-iphone-ipad-ios-5
After each phone configuration was completed, I then uninstalled the MobileMe Control Panel in Windows and rebooted.  I was then ready to go ahead and download and configure iCloud Control Panel on my family’s various computers.  I personally just turned on “Photo Stream” in the Control Panel for my laptop, for automatic movement of photos to and from my \My Pictures\Photo Stream folders.
Finally, I tested to be sure Find My iPhone worked on each computer, using the individual Apple ID to log in to http://www.icloud.com/#find, and creating a http://www.icloud.com/#calendar bookmark on each computer, for fast family calendar viewing.

Please consider letting us know other key steps I might have missed.  You can type comments right here in Disqus below!


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  • Jaknays

    Good instructions.  Very helpful.  Thanks.

  • dude

    is photo stream a shared account?

  • tinkererguy

    No, it’s under the individual iCloud account.  The PC tray icon runs the GUI for the iCloud service syncing agent, that stays logged in to just one Apple ID, whenever your PC is on (not necessarily logged in).  This syncing agent handles bringing down photos from your iOS devices, in my experience, in less than about 2 minutes, very convenient.

    Here’s an overview of iCloud and Photo Stream:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/160380/2011/06/icloud_what_you_need_to_know.html?lsrc=top_1#icphotostream

    There may be better ways to handle multiple logins (depending upon what you’re trying to do exactly), such as discussed here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1262297

    This all feels like a “work in progress” to me, also known as an opportunity for improvement!