Some users believe the Apple IDs are nothing more than their iTunes passwords, but Apple accounts do far more, including enabling cloud file sharing and application purchasing. Erik Eckel explains.
Years of consulting have revealed that many business users don't fully understand Apple IDs, the username and password tied to the Apple account that provides access to Apple services like the iTunes Store, the App Store, and iCloud. Here are answers to the most common Apple ID questions I've encountered supporting Apple professionals in the field.
How do I create an Apple ID?
To create an Apple ID, visit Apple's website and complete the Apple ID application. The application requires that you provide your name, an email address, the password to be used with the new Apple ID, answers to several security questions, a rescue email address, and a mailing address.
Where is the Apple ID used?
The Apple ID enables numerous services. In addition to using an Apple ID to purchase programs within Apple's App Store, the Apple ID can be used for accessing all of the following:
- Find My Friends
- iBooks Store
- iTunes Match
- iTunes Store
- Volume Purchase Program (VPP)
Can I change my Apple ID password?
Yes. Apple provides a website page that users can leverage to change their Apple ID passwords. Visit the page and follow the instructions to change your Apple ID password.
Can I merge multiple Apple IDs into a single account?
No. Multiple Apple IDs cannot be merged into a single account.
Can I share my Apple ID with other users?
Yes, Apple can't stop you, but why would you want to share your sensitive account credentials? Providing someone else with your Apple ID provides them with access to identity features like FaceTime, iChat, and iMessage, plus your credit card for Apple account purchases. Others possessing your Apple ID would also be able to access files and information you store within iCloud.
I don't recommend users share an Apple ID with others, except maybe a significant other. Larger businesses that need to purchase and centralize application administration for multiple users should leverage mobile device management (MDM) technologies and corresponding volume purchasing program (VPP) accounts instead of sharing personal accounts. More information on VPP accounts is available on Apple's website.
How do I change or update my Apple ID information?
Users may change Apple ID account information by logging in to their Apple ID on Apple's website. Users may edit their name, email address, password and security settings, mailing address and more.
Is two-factor authentication available for Apple IDs?
Yes. Users can choose to implement what Apple calls two-step verification to increase the security of their Apple ID account. To set up two-step verification, users need to go to My Apple ID, select Manage Your Apple ID, and sign in. Within the Password and Security section, users must select (under Two-Step Verification), Get Started. Following the instructions enables a user to set up two-step verification, register one or more trusted devices, and assign a four-digit security code. A special 14-character recovery key is also generated as part of the process. With two-step verification in place, the Apple ID password and verification code are required to access the account, helping further secure it from unauthorized access.