Can I use the same Apple ID on multiple iPhones/iPods

gbzhhu
gbzhhu used Ask the Experts™
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We are a commercial entity with an app. This app will be used by our customers and will be available via AppStore for free. It needs login and connects to our servers for authentications. What we want to do is buy the devices, install the app using our single apple ID then "somehow" remove our apple ID so that users can use their own apple ID.

Is this possible? What are our options?

Thank you in advance
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That does work with a caveat.

We tried something similar in our office. I set up several iPads with a single Apple ID that I set up specifically for this. And that worked OK and the users were able to take the iPad and use it.  However, if they wanted to add any other app or get an update to the installed apps, their only recourse was to log in with their Apple ID and then when they would do anything in iTunes with any apps, it would allow then to switch to their Apple ID, but it would delete everything I installed app-wise. So, I suppose with a free app, that's not an issue, but there's no way to install something with one Apple ID and then put other things there and/or do upgrades with out losing what's there that you installed.

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Commented:
Cheers jhyiesla

That's helpful to know.  Were you able to determine if there is a limit on how many devices you can install an app on using the same Apple ID?

I am assuming that once you installed the app you then did Settings->Store->Sing Out?  Is that right?

Is it possible to prevent users from installing anything else on the device, they just use the installed apps and that is it?  

 
I set up seven iPads using the same ID and had no trouble. Also used same Mac for itunes connection, but I don't think I would have to.  Used my Mac for this and I have the ability to log into iTunes using my ID or the work one and itunes accepts either and segregates my apps from the work apps.

There is an iphone configuration utility that you can download for free that allows you to configure lots of things on an iphone or ipad such as locking out the app store.  You can get it from http://support.apple.com/kb/dl926
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Author

Commented:
Thanks for that.  I Heard the config utility but never tried.  Will check it out now.

In terms of devices, we are looking about 500 devices rollout!! We just want us installing the app not the users.  From the info you gave me plus some from the web we may run into 2 possible isues

1.  If there is a limit on how many devices we can do with one ID (if 7 worked then 500 might work)
2.  App updates (going to be a nightmare, this one)

I'll keep info collecting before advising our client.  But first I am off to read your blog on converting to Apple.  I started Apple stuff 8 months ago, like it but don't swear on it purely because of app deployment headaches
I obviously can't swear to it, but I'd not think that 500 devices would be an issue as far as the Apple ID. Updates could potentially be a headache at some level.   However, I think, but have not used this feature, that the config utility might let you push app updates.  I know that if you have an enterprise license you can use if to push in-house apps that are NOT distributed through the app store. You might want to read though the help file on the utility.  We mainly used it for some basic configs.

You might also check with a company called Absolute - absolute.com.  They have a manager program that uses the config utility, but they give you the ability to do way more things with managing these devices. It was more than we needed, but seemed very full-featured.
We have over 500 iPod touch devices deployed out to our users and they all use the same Apple ID for downloading and installing apps. The biggest drawback is when something has to be updated, they have to bring it in to our department. I would definitely look at something to manage it at the enterprise level.

One other thing to note, with Windows, you can only connect and sync one device at a time. If you use a Mac, you can sync multiple devices at the same time using a sync cart.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for sharing that jimtpowers

OK, so updates is the only pain.  Did you install the app or did your users do themselves?  Was this via AppStore?


We install the apps via the appstore onto the devices since we don't give out the password for the account.

Author

Commented:
Very interesting jimtpowers

So let me see if I understand you

You get the iPods yourselves, login to AppStore with the same Apple ID on all the iPods, install the apps you want then ship it out to the users.  If this is so how do you stop users from

1.  Installing more apps? (you logged out so they can't login as they don't have the password?)
2.  Login in with another Apple ID and synching with another PC/MAC overwriting your apps

Cheers
Good questions. We can't prevent users from doing either of these since we don't install policies at the same time. You can install policies on the device that would prevent these, we just haven't gone that far. We have acceptable use policies that our users must sign off before using the device. If anything happens to the device that prevents them from using our apps, the device is wiped and re-installed as it was when we sent it out. We are a school district so logistics are a little easier since the users just bring them in to our office.

Author

Commented:
Cool. I could suggest this to my client and see if that is something they might consider

Commented:
I think the solution that you are looking for is the iPhone Configuration Utility. By plugging in the phone to a computer with this (free and Apple supported) utility, you can publish an application to the phone without using the AppStore. The updates should then come in through the AppStore.

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