Multiple Computers/devices, multiple family users, how to organize?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SeFu, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. SeFu macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2010
    Not sure if anyone here is interested in sharing their approaches or not but I could use a bit of help here as I am new to mac, ipad, and apple in general.

    I have two iMacs, one macbook, and one iPad and they are used between my wife and myself. Basically, one iMac each, and one user account each on the macbook. We keep all of our files on our iMacs, then keep them backed up regularly. Anything on the laptop is either a copy from our computers, or something we downloaded which isnt important enough to store on our computer.

    Where I am getting a little bit confused is how to handle iPad, use of the new iCloud, and how many apple id's we need to create.

    Right now we have just one apple id, my own, which has been ok up till now for purchases but i think will begin to get troublesome soon.

    Right now I would like to purchase OSX Lion on the app store, but can I purchase it only once on my apple id? Otherwise how do I install it on both iMacs?

    As well, if I set up iCloud to send everything to my computers, will it only do it to the apple id set up on the iPad?

    Anyway, are there any others out there with a similar family setup who are trying to work through the best approach or who have already done so and can share their tips/experience?

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. LoneRider macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Lake Stevens WA
    I have a MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air, an iPad, and an iPod touch.

    I'd suggest to keep a single AppleID, that way any apps and music can be on all of your computers without having to purchase multiple copies. For example, buy Lion for $29 and you can install it on up to five computers when they are on the same ApppleID.

    After you buy Lion, you can either copy the download to a thumb drive to install on the other computer or get to it from your network. I believe you can even just redownload from the app store and since you already bought it there wouldnot be another charge.

    Any app I get for my iPad or touch, is available to put on the other if I want to. You don't *have* to, but if you do, it does not have to be purchased again.

    I use Dropbox to keep shared files sync'd, and have not yet paid much attention to iCloud. My understanding is for things to be shared by iCloud the devices must use the same AppleID.

    Bottom line, single AppleID is the best way to go.
  3. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    Single Apple ID is the way to go. Once you upgrade your macs to Lion you can use Air Drop, it is a real easy way to transfer files, photos, music, movies or whatever really between computers. Its also super easy, all you do is open Air drop on both machines and then drag and drop the files onto the picture of the machine to want to have them and boom it transfers them wirelessly. Drop box is another handy way to go for cloud storage. IT works very similar to iCloud. But the bottom line is use 1 apple id it will make your life so much easier.

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