app advice for speech-language pathologists, educators and parents

setting up your itunes account

Your iPad is a wonderful piece of technology, but what it is able to do for you and your children will be governed by the apps you add to it.   To add apps, music or books you will need an iTunes account.  Even though Apple has preloaded your iPad with separate app icons leading to app sales, music sales and electronic book sales, all roads ultimately lead to iTunes.  And all purchases will be made from your iTunes account.

So the first step is to set up your iTunes account, or Apple ID.  You may already have a personal account that you are using with a different device (an iPhone or an iPod), and you may have already taken this step when you first set up your iPad.  One iTunes account (or Apple ID) will work across all of your apple devices.

If you work for a school or an agency and your employer will be purchasing some apps for you, that is great news.  But in addition to the iTunes account they have given you,  I would strongly suggest you also set up your own personal account.

You can have multiple iTunes accounts tied to one device and you will quickly find that the additional account gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility.  It will be easy to download free apps using your school account.  You will just need to enter your password. (See Downloading Apps.)  Buying apps through your school account, however, will likely involve a multi-step process in which you first do a little research to justify the value of that purchase for your caseload, submit that justification, allow time for your employer to approve that purchase (and contact iTunes to receive a redemption code that allows a tax-exempt purchase of that app), and then allow time for your employer to send you a unique redemption code for you to enter in using your school iTunes account.

Sometimes a fun little 99 cent app for kids will catch my eye, but I don’t feel right bothering our IT Director or Special Education Director to go through all of those steps.  Or maybe the app is a couple of dollars but it’s not exactly a slam dunk to justify the educational value of it…  If you have your own account, you could quickly download that 99 cent app to then put it into immediate use.  Amazing.

There is a way to set up your iTunes account without tying in your credit card or personal bank information.  Just buy an iTunes gift card (they are sold at every grocery store near us) and front load your account with that amount. (See Redeeming a Code.)   As long as you keep it charged, you will always have the ability to buy an inexpensive app here or there, and you will never be asked for bank information.

To set up an iTunes account (or additional iTunes account) directly from your ipad, just tap on the Settings app icon.  Choose Store on the left hand side.  Tap the Apple ID box that is now displayed on the right hand side and follow the prompts until you have completed the process.  For a more in-depth description of each of these steps, see Apple’s directions.

When you want to switch accounts, the process is the same.  Tap on the Settings app icon, choose Store on the left hand side of the page and tap Apple ID on the right hand side of the page.  Sign out and sign back in.

If you are in the app store already and want to switch accounts, just tap Featured at the bottom, scroll all the way down and tap on the apple ID boxSign out and sign back in.