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iMessages and FaceTime Sharing Issues

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FaceTimeIs someone in your family reading all of your text messages without you knowing? And why is your wife’s phone ringing when you get a phone call? Wait a minute…why are your iPad and MacBook Pro ringing also?!

Lots of new features were introduced with iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite. One of the coolest is called Continuity, and it allows all of your devices to have an “awareness” of each other. This connection between all of your devices is made possible through your iCloud account, and the fact that they are all logged into iCloud using one Apple ID.

If someone in your family is using your old phone, and it’s still logged in with your Apple ID, they may be getting all of your text iMessages and FaceTime calls!

Where on your iPhone and iPad is your Apple ID used? Here is a list of places to look to make sure you are configured correctly, and where to make sure you logged out on old devices so they are not still “in the loop”.

All of these are found in the Settings app in iOS 8:

  1. iCloud – This is what controls what data is being shared with other devices including Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, iCloud Keychain, Photostreams, iCloud Drive, and the Find My Phone feature. This is also where we can now turn on Family Sharing which allows up to 6 Apple ID’s to share purchase history, and even control what our children are and are not allow to download from the iTunes Stores.
  2. iTunes and App Store – These control your purchasing power, and which credit card is used for making purchases within all your other apps. Your Apple ID here defines your purchase history when you go into the Purchased area in iTunes Store, App Store, and the iBooks Store. You can see what Apple ID is being used in each app by scrolling to the bottom of any page.
  3. Messages – This controls what Apple ID is used within the Messages app, and its connection to the iMessages service. It also allows you to include or exclude any or all of your email addresses from being used when people send you messages. There is also a new setting to control Text Message Forwarding so you know what other devices are also receiving your SMS (non-iMessage) text messages.
  4. FaceTime – This is for video and audio calls. Like Messages, you can specify how you can be reached. And, on the iPhone, you can turn decide if you want your iPhone Cellular Calls to be received on your iPad or Apple computer. Consequently, your spouse’s or children’s iPhones may ring if they still have your Apple ID within the this settings area.

On OS X, it is a little trickier to find all of these places, but they are all still there.

  1. iCloud – Look in your System Preferences, under iCloud.
  2. iTunes and App Store – In the new version of iTunes, you’ll see a drop down in the top left of the toolbar that has your name. Click on it, and you should see your Apple ID. In the App Store, look on the Features tab in the right column under Quick Links.
  3. FaceTime –  In the application’s main menu, open Preferences. Look on the Settings tab. Is your Apple ID enabled?
  4. Messages – In the application’s main menu, open Preferences. Look on the Accounts tab. Is your Apple ID enabled?

In years past, it was easy to share one Apple ID between family members, but now it’s evolved to become a personal ID to connect your devices. It shows up in so many places that it’s crucial to detach all your iCloud-enabled apps before handing down your iPhones and iPads.

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