Monday, October 10, 2011

iCloud will sync everything across all my devices - What if I don't want it to?


  I have been very excited about the upcoming release of iCloud in hopes that it will make it so much easier to store and share documents that students create. However, what happens when several devices are synced to a single iTunes account and you don't want content being synced across all of the devices? If a single user is using multiple iOS devices, it would be great to be able to sync across all the devices so that you can start a presentation on one device and then continue it on another. It would also be great to take photos and have them appear across multiple devices. 

     When multiple users (students or family members) are sharing the same iTunes account, would this mean that the content will get pushed across all devices? If we are using different iPads across classes that are synced with the same iTunes account, will this result in all iPads getting the content that is taken by the different students? This could get very messy and certainly not desirable in many cases. This would be true in many families as well. A parent may not wish to sync a business presentation with their child or have photos taken by their child's iPod Touch appear on their iPad. They certainly may not want to share calendars and contacts with each other.  They may, however, want to share apps, music and other purchased content across all the devices to avoid having to pay for them more than once. 

     In reading different websites on this issue, it does appear that you will be able to have a single iTunes account which is linked to purchases and separate iCloud accounts linked to individual devices. If I understand this correctly, you could use one account to purchase apps and other content and have it pushed to different devices. By having different iCloud accounts, you would not be forced to sync other content such as presentations, photos, calendars, contacts, etc. I am certainly hoping that this will be the case. If not, it would appear that you would have to decide to turn iCloud off to avoid syncing across different devices or create a separate iTunes account for each device and pay for content for each one. I guess we will find out these details very soon when iCloud is made available on October 12.