If you have a family and more than one iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch floating around, iCloud can make it much easier to share everything from doctors appoints to game purchases, but it can be a challenge to set things up perfectly. Deciding which devices sync which services, and what if any parental restrictions need to be put in place are all important choices to make.
Here are your options and some ideas to get started.
One of the first decisions you'll have to make is between a unified, shared iCloud account for the whole family, multiple, individual accounts, one for each family member, or a mix of both. We recommend a mix of both.
If you decide to go with one joint family account, and separate accounts for each family member, you'll need to set them up (if you haven't already).
Once you're done setting up your free iCloud accounts, you can start using them across your devices.
Once you've set up the individual iCloud accounts, you still need to enable the joint account so you can share purchased items from the App Store, iTunes, Newsstand, and iBooks.
Also decide who you're comfortable having the password for this account, because it will be used to make purchases. That might mean only the parents get it, and the kids have to ask the parents to enter it if and when they want to download something.
If this sounds like a hassle, you might want to leave the children on separate accounts and either set them up with an iTunes allowance for purchases, or make them responsible for paying their own iTunes bills.
If every member of your family is using iCloud, you can share whole calendars with each other that will update automatically anytime anything is added, changed, or removed. If mom has a sports practice calendar she'd like to share with dad, she can do so by following the steps below -
If someone has shared an iCloud calendar with you, accepting it will allow you to view events.
iCloud also gives you the option of sharing single events with users. Perhaps you don't need to share an entire calendar with someone but you'd like to invite them to a single event. The notifications for these will show up in the same place. To share an event on iCloud, you can view our detailed walkthrough on how to share individual events as well.
Find My iPhone is a free service Apple offers to iCloud users that will allow you track a lost or stolen device via GPS. Even though it's called Find My iPhone, you can actually track any iOS device with it that has iCloud enabled. If each member of your family has their own iCloud account, simply make sure they have Find My iPhone enabled in settings. If you created a shared account for purchases that each member of your household has access to, just enable Find My iPhone in Settings for each iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to keep track of all of them under the same account.
There are many ways to configure iCloud to suit the needs of your family. Only you can decide which setup is best for you. A family with many iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches would probably benefit from one iCloud account for purchases and tracking purposes. If you only really need to share calendars, having your own iCloud accounts will work out just fine. Share what you need and leave the rest alone. Choose the setup that works best for you. And if you still have questions or need additional help with managing iCloud for your family, hit the links below.
If you still need help setting up iCloud for your family, or with any iCloud feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!