10 March 2012

iPad, iCloud, and The Multiple ID problem

Coming up on two years with my original iPad. I still love it. Use it daily. I am sorely tempted by the iPad 3, mainly for the fantastic display upgrade, but will have to wait a while.

I only just updated the iPad to iOS5.x. Good upgrade. Nice improvements in mail client, for one. I'd gone to iOS5 on the iPhone a while ago, a big win if for nothing else than the revamped notifications system.

The new iPhoto for iPad looks great. I probably won't get around to trying it, since I'm firmly entrenched in the Lightroom camp. Looking forward to the day Adobe doesn't an integrated iPad Lightroom for me. New iMovie also very interesting. As are the new features with GarageBand, especially collaboration.

iTunes U, though, takes the cake. This predates the new iPad by a while, but I hadn't paid much attention. Phenomenal idea, well executed. This would be incredible even if the MIT OpenCourseware was the only offering. Astonishing to see so much free content. Want to sit in on MIT physics lecture series? Lots to add to my aspirational list of activities for retirement I think.

iCloud? Well, it's great that if I take a photo on my iPhone it automagically ends up on my desktop mac (and will now also do so on my iPad). Other features seem perfectly fine and cloudy. App purchases, music, etc., all syncing across devices quietly and effectively. Great.

What Apple has completely botched, for me, is the ID-handling. I have apple store IDs that predate the iTunes music store and predate the mac.com addresses. Initially I used my yahoo emaill address for the apple store in the US. After that, two things happened, I got a mac.com address and moved abroad. So my non-US apple account is based on my mac.com (or me.com) address, while my US apple account is based on my yahoo address still. I would prefer to use my mac/me address for my iCloud account, but most of my content is from the US account. Apple ID can be changed, unless it's a mac/me account.

So I'm stuck: I can't change my UK Apple account to something other than my mac/me account, apparently using the mac/me address now makes that immutable (I can only add additional addresses). I can't change my US Apple account to use my mac/me account, because that's already being used by my UK account. So I can't merge accounts or even keep two but swap the email addresses, which is pants.


zim said...

i reckon you're in a fairly unique situation and that merging won't ever be offered through normal channels.

have you tried support? might take some persistence.


from my light research, it looks as though i need Lion for iCloud. my macbook pro is running Snow Leopard. at not even 2 years old, it shouldn't be left behind.

pyker said...

You're right, mine should not be a common problem. The general merge problem is real, though, that affects a lot more people. Plenty of folks have had multiple itunes music store accounts in use over the past decade and now have no way to merge to a single apple id.

I might have to try support. Or a "genius". Sigh.

I also am slightly confused about moving my mail account. I want to keep using my nearly 3-yr-old macbook, which is on 10.5.8. I have no intention of upgrading it to Lion. Not sure what to do.

pyker said...

Just did an online chat with apple support. High marks for quick response. Wait time was less than 30 seconds.

As I predicted, they were not able to help. I'm pretty much stuffed. Recommendation was to move the UK mobileme account to iCloud then merge some of the data from one iCloud account to another. Hm.

JustJoeP said...

"Adobe doesn't an integrated iPad"

... I think you meant "does an"

...you're starting to get me interested in the practical-ness of iCloud. But I am firmly entrenched in the grumpy old man "leave my stuff alone!" camp.... you've got me peeking over the wall, at how the Cloud might be handy.