Friday, December 31, 2010

Does Apple ID for Game Center and FaceTime Conflict with App Store?

Apple iPod touch 32 GB (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
As I mentioned in a previous article my son received an iPod Touch for Christmas.  One of the issues he ran into was that every time he launched a game the Game Center prompt would appear asking if he wanted to join Game Center.   When this happened the screen would display my Apple ID since my ID is the one that's tied to his iPod so we can share content.  Oh Oh, now what do I do?  My dilemma was whether he could create his own Apple ID for Game Center and FaceTime but still keep the App Store and the content on the iPod Touch tethered to my Apple ID.  Clearly making sure the content continued to work was the most important thing.   So I gave it try to see what would happen.

I'm happy to report that Apple again designed this correctly in that Game Center and FaceTime can each have their own Apple ID and that there isn't a monolithic Apple ID that governs the entire iPod.  Yeh!  On my son's iPod he now has his own Apple ID associated with Game Center and FaceTime and for his apps he uses my Apple ID.  Problem solved.  By the way FaceTime works great on the iPod Touch and he was able to FaceTime with my wife on her iPhone--very cool.  

My one little nit with Apple is that they don't let kids have an Apple ID.  At least the website said that my son's birthday was too recent (meaning he's too young) to have an Apple ID.  So I had to lie.  I'm guessing this is a legacy issue because of app purchases but it doesn't make sense in the Game Center and FaceTime world.  My suggestion to Apple is to allow parents to create Apple IDs for their kids that are tied to the master Apple ID or to allow the child to get parental approval for the creation of an Apple ID.  I appreciate the desire to protect kids (and Apple's desire to protect themselves from kid purchased apps without the financial backing of their parents) but I think there should be a way to support this especially since Game Center keeps popping up every time someone tries to launch a game.  Very annoying.  Kids play games too.

Click here to sign-up for an AppleID.

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