Monday, September 15, 2014

Quick Fixes for Apple IDs, Under Age 13 Apple IDs, Credit Cards, and More

After helping 4,600 students set up iPads over the past five weeks, we have learned A LOT!  A lot that I wish we would have known before we started... Here is a quick summary that might make your life and iPad roll out a lot easier:

  1. You can remove the credit card requirement!  We thought we were being proactive by having every student log in to MyAppleID on a desktop to verify their account prior to receiving an iPad, but about half still were prompted to verify a credit card. I suppose the prior log in helped kids learn their Apple ID  and password.  However, often times Apple requires the security code and expiration date from a parent's credit card for a child setting up an iPad with either a new Apple ID or an existing one, even if they might have used for years on their personal iPod or iPhone. This was a common problem for our students (as mentioned in a previous post).  Solution: Before trying to install that first app, even a free one, simply go to the iCloud Settings on the iPad, sign in, select payment options and choose None to remove the credit card.  That's it!
    Be prepared to explain what an area code is and have many students with no idea of their parent's phone number. (It's a generational thing. When a cell phone stores all your phone numbers, there's no need to memorize any.  And area codes?! What's that?)
  2. "iCloud is Sick"  Don't let siblings share Apple IDs!  Shared family Apple IDs are not ideal for many reasons.  We have our students back up their Notability files to Google Docs as PDFs so they are accessible from any computer, and to iCloud so their original editable files as well as all their settings and folder structures within the app are preserved in case they need a new iPad or have a loaner during a repair issue.  If siblings share iCloud accounts, they see each other's notes on both iPads.  The same thing happens with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Photo Stream iCloud backups.  Plus, shared iCloud accounts mean less available free iCloud storage.
  3. End the "Improve Apple ID Security" popup that endlessly errors out and doesn't accept students' security questions.  Log in to MyAppleID and re-select the security questions and answers. Then answer the security questions on the iPad and it will accept the answers.
  4. If the Apple App Store Purchased Page is blank...  This common problem was most often resolved by having students go to iTunes in Settings, signing out, and then then reboot the iPad (Holding the power button and home button for about ten seconds or until the Apple icon appears). After reboot, students sign back in to their Apple account in their iPad settings under iTunes and Apps and then would have apps listed on the Purchased Page.
  5. Verify that Automatic Downloads for Music and Apps are Off and Automatic Updates are On. This will prevent any purchases made on other devices from being sent to your iPad, therefore causing your iPad to be disabled by accident, but allows updates to be automatically added to your iPad.  If you have an iPhone or iPod, you can do this on those devices, too, so school apps don’t appear on personal device(s). To do this, go to Settings, iTunes and App Store, Automatic Downloads, and set Apps to Off and Updates to On. For more tips, view our Apple ID FAQ page as well as our iPad Setup Checklist of instructions for students.

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