For all the flack that Apple gets for its proprietary and closed ecosystem of hardware, software, and cloud-based services, there’s a lot of good that comes out of it as well. This article will look on the “bright-side” of why having and using an Apple ID over your Macs and iPhones/iPads/iPods, and AppleTV can be not only a robust tool to help you get things done, and do cool stuff with, but also can be a real life saver—digitally speaking of course!
What is an Apple ID?
To put is succinctly, an Apple ID is an email address that you give to Apple when you set up a new Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or a Mac computer running the latest Mac OS.
Your Apple ID is also linked to your iCloud account, which allows you to integrate all your “Apple i” devices into a single place.
Linking your Mac and iPhone
macOS (as of this writing: April 2017, OS X, version 10.12, a.k.a. Sierra) just loves your Apple ID! What’s even better is when you get a shinny new iPhone (say the iPhone 7) running iOS 10 (as of this writing, 10.3.1), and you set it up with that same Apple ID, all kinds of good stuff happens!
For example: say you’re working on an article for your employer (like an online tech tip and tutorial blog), and you’re working on a Mac mini running Sierra. Your iPhone is currently recharging in the next room. However, you get a phone call (yes, people still do that sort of thing). Whatever do you do?
Fear thee not!
Let your Mac do the talking…
Yes, as long as everything is set up correctly, and you have audio capabilities with your Mac (who wouldn’t?), then when you get a call, a widget pops up on your screen allowing you to accept the call even if you’re not physically on your iPhone!
You may look a little weird but taking a call through your computer like you do on a phone call is just too cool!
All with the help of your Apple ID.
This also works for FaceTime and iMessage.
Plus, with the Apple ID, all of your contacts, reminders, calendars, and notes are all synched between your Mac and your iPhone!
Ah! A little slice of that Apple Computer goodness and convenience.
iTunes A Go-Go
iTunes is one of those music organizer and sharing programs that you either love or hate. However, without iTunes for the Mac (or Windows!) you are limited with what you can do with your iPhone on its own. iTunes gives you the ability to backup your entire iPhone’s contents to the computer when you don’t have enough iCloud storage. iTunes also allows you to synch up media files to your iPhone like downloaded videos from YouTube or Vimeo, eBooks & PDFs, HD movies, user-created ringtones, and other goodies.
However, at the core of the iTunes/iPhone relationship is music… sweet music.
With your Apple ID, you can authorize your Mac and iPhone to share the same songs you legally purchased from the iTunes store. You can actually authorize a combination of up to 5 Apple computers and mobile devices. This gets handy when you upgrade your systems and forget to de-authorize the previous one!
Also when sharing your music/playlists with other users and their devices, you’re going to need that Apple ID to log into yours.
I have an iPhone 7, a maxed out 2012 i7 2.6 Ghz quad-core Mac mini, and a little old 2008 MacBook Air. That last little computer and I have been all over the United States writing books, screenplays, short stories, blogs, articles, and countless other pieces. It’s still kicking and serves my needs when I go off-site to write (say to the library or a local barista). Using the same Apple ID across all three allows me to enjoy my music anytime, anywhere when I’m writing.
Time For an Upgrade!
When the iPhone 8 comes out, you bet there’s going to be a lot of upgrades going on. I’ll probably hang on to my iPhone 7 until the holographic iPhone 10 arrives (Apple will probably skip the 9!). Anyway, I take comfort in the fact that when I get that 10, I can use my good old Apple ID to seamlessly transition from the old iPhone to the new one—starting with all of my favorite apps.
The Apple ID makes re-downloading apps from the Apps Store a snap!
Just follow these simple steps:
- Use iTunes to fully backup your old iPhone to your Mac
- Use the Mac’s Photos program to import ALL of your photos and videos from our old iPhone
- Set up your new iPhone by going to Settings > General > Erase All Content and Settings.
- Then you’ll be able to go through the whole iPhone set up process, which includes the ability to restore the iPhone from an iTunes backup.
- Somewhere along the way, you’ll be asked for your Apple ID. Put that in, do the restore, and then watch as all of your apps magically come down from the App store to repopulate your iPhone. These will be the latest versions of the apps as they don’t get brought over from the iTunes backup.
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!
A Good Book is Hard to Find
Being an author myself, I read and read and read. You don’t have to be a writer to appreciate a good book. However, with your Apple ID, you can read your eBooks from your iBooks app on your iPhone and your iBooks program on your Mac and never lose your spot!
Note the red bookmark icon in the upper right of both the iBooks Mac program and the iBooks app on an iPhone in the image below.
That’s because when you are using your Apple ID, if you bookmark your copy of A Game of Thrones on your iPhone, that bookmark (along with all the notes and stuff you can input on an eBook) will get magically synched with your iBooks program on your Mac.
Why would this be so handy?
Say you’re reading a good cookbook on your iPhone (like Tom Brady’s TB12 Nutrition Manual, if that were ever converted to an eBook), and you wanted to print out the recipe for Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. Printing from your iPhone is rather limited; however, when you print from your Mac you get a ton of options for formatting the text for various print media types.
I don’t know about you but I’d rather not get my iPhone or iPad all greasy as I’m trying make my Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings!
The Apple ID may seem like a “Big Brother” kind of thing (and maybe it is to some extent) but it is also a good compromise that delivers on the kind of Tony Stark’s JARVIS computer/technology experience we’re all expecting now-a-days from our shinny little devices.
I’m just waiting for the holographic interface with next generation Mac Pro, which will probably also be an iPhone as well!