iOS 7, 'Find My iPhone,' and Multiple Accounts- Circumventing Apple's Walled Garden
By Tom Slayton
With an absent-minded wife, a house full of kids, and 7 iOS devices, one of my most used iOS Apps is Find My iPhone. When an iPhone or iPad is misplaced, I simply fire up the App on any of our devices and I can not only see where all of them are at-a-glance, but I can also force them to continuously play a tone; or even lock or wipe it if necessary. With this App, I have found phones in dirty laundry bins, under couch cushions, in cars, and even on my wife's desk at work 12 miles away. Of course, every one of us has a different email address, which makes using the App as Apple intends is frustrating and tedious. Under iOS 6, this was easily circumvented, however, by the creation of a family iCloud address. After adding it to every device, I simply enabled Find My iPhone on that account (and disabled it on the default accounts) and I was able to track every device from every other device using a single login.
Apparently, this level of convenience was not intended, because after I installed iOS 7, I immediately found that Apple had disabled Find My iPhone on every account but the user's main iCloud login, which Apple arbitrarily selects for you when you set up iOS 7 for the first time. There is a workaround, however. First, start by deleting your iCloud account from the device, and re-adding that email address in the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars panel. Next, log into iCloud using the email address you want to share with the rest of your family (or create one for this purpose right there on the iCloud settings pane). Be sure to disable everything you don't want to share such as contacts, email, etc. I have found it useful to enable the calendar, which will result in a shared family calendar on all devices.
Some things to keep in mind:
1. Turn off iMessage, then turn it back on to assign personal email address (it will default to your shared iCloud address). 2. If you don't want all of your calendar items to be shared with your family members, be sure to select a different default calendar. 3. All photos taken will be shared via Photostream with all devices that share the same iCloud login. Either keep that clearly in mind, or turn it off in Settings.
Obviously, the tradeoff here is privacy among your family members, and this solution is not for everybody. However, for my family and me, it's a no-brainer.