How I have my Apple iDevices configured

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 there are lots of ways and everyone will have their personal preferences, here are mine:

iTunes – I use a single iTunes ID for all my Apple devices so all my iTunes (music, videos, book) and App Store (apps) purchases are available on all my devices. While I was initially excited with the prospect of the new iOS 8 Family Sharing feature, it doesn’t support iTunes Match (see below) and thus wasn’t an option for me. I use the same iTunes id for work and personal, for iCloud and iMessage.

Apple Music – I’m not a fan and I don’t subscribe. I have a large music collection that I own and I also subscribe to Sirius/XM in my two cars and use the mobile app extensively to listen to music when connected to wi-fi (typically at home).

iTunes Match – I’m a huge fan and for $24.99 a year, it’s a bargain. Our family has a huge number of playlists which are available on all our devices. Unfortunately, Family Sharing isn’t supported so each of our devices (maximum of 10) needs to log into the same iTunes account. I hope Apple addresses this limitation.

iCloud – Each of the members in our family has their own iCloud account in their own name. My family makes due with the free 5GB account. I pay $1 a month for the 50GB plan so I have enough space to backup all my devices. We synchronize our all data across devices.

iMessage – Each of the members of the members of my family uses the same Apple ID for iCloud and iMessage. While I prefer to get all my messages and phone calls on all my devices, my kids have disabled this feature.

OurPact and iOS Restrictions – I use OurPact and native iOS restrictions to limit my kids access

Find my iPhone/iPad – enabled on all my devices

Find My Friends – 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)