How to set up iMessage sharing across multiple devices (especially after 2 factor authentication)

I recently set up 2-factor authentication on my apple account to provide stronger protection of my account. 

Around about the same time I noticed that iMessages and calls were not being shared across my multiple apple devices as they had been. I went into settings -> icloud -> <your apple id> -> where there are settings for:

  • contact information
  • password & security
  • devices
  • payment

I made sure that in "devices" all my devices were showing up (they are listed automatically if signed in against your apple id) - which they were

In password and security I made sure that both my mobile phones were "trusted phone numbers"

I figured that should now do the trick.. 

It didn't

After googling a bit, turns out you also have to go into settings -> messages -> Send & Receive and in there make sure that all your devices and email addresses are listed. You can also define which number/email messages appear to come from when you compose them; which means each device can initiate from its own number, or if you like, they can all initiate from the same ID. 

After I'd done that it all worked :) 

by the way, you can also go into facetime settings and do the same.. 

Think Different

Of course, as everyone raced to type their reviews of the iPhone 4S on Tuesday 4th October (myself included), little did they know that Steve Jobs was on his deathbed. And that Tim Cook, the new CEO, was having to deliver his annoucements almost certainly knowing that was the case.

I feel a great sense of loss of such a wonderful role model; many would say in the field of business, marketing, user experience - and clearly Jobs had so many talents in so many areas. But for me, all that rolls up into a genius for insight, innovationsimplicity and change.

It is absolutely immeasureable the influence Steve Jobs had on so many lives in the digital age. He may not have solved World hunger, but you can bet your bottom dollar that his legacy in bringing digital information to the masses marks a turning point in history.

So much has been said about Steve Jobs over the 48 hours following (over 4000 tweets per second) and will no doubt continue to do so, that it's hard to add a fitting tribute.

So, I'm going to play back some of Apple's own words, words that have Steve Jobs' DNA all over them. Words that, to me, are poetry.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Rest In Peace Steve

Why Apple integrated iOS5 with Twitter, not Facebook

If you look around the blogs there's lots of speculation about complexity of integration, history of sour  negotiations over things like Ping.

I don't think it's anything like that - here's my really simple list of reasons:

Raison D'Etre

Facebook is essentially an "Application" - it collects content, stores it, aggregates it, distributes it. It allows users to have "space" on the web - a virtual home, so to speak, albeit connected with their circle of interests. 

This is nothing like what Apple/iOS needs. As a device and operating system, iPhone/iOS needs connectivity; it needs conduits for information - channels if you like. That's what email is, that's what SMS is, that's what instant messaging is.

That's also what twitter is - twitter is not an application as in the sense above; it is a transport hub, a conduit for realtime data to flow between relevant users. It might be described generically as "social media", but its modus operandi and purpose are entirely different to facebook. Twitter is a way for information, of almost any type, to flow between users. Facebook on the other hand is designed as a place to land to consume content.

That's not to say that Twitter doesn't intend to move up the "value chain" to become a place of higher value consumption - indeed, its acquisitions of the likes of tweetdeck and the long overdue enhancements to its online experience, such as the tie in with photobucket, clearly signal this intent. 

But quite simply, the DNA of twitter is more akin to the phone line as Facebook's is to the phone. 

Culture Clash

There is a complete cultural mismatch between Facebook and Apple. Apple lead the way on user experience and strive for total customer satisfaction. Apple's mantra is to put users first. Apple is slick and consistently good. (Yes, they've had their hiccups, but they deal with them sensibly.)

Little could seem to be further from the truth for facebook. Facebook acts first in its own interests, then retracts if the backlash is sufficient. Their mantra is clearly "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission". Facebook is clumsy and self-centred. 

Shoddy user experience and scant regard for user privacy have been demonstrated by Facebook time and time again. These two brands do not make good bedfellows. 

And that's it - these two reasons alone, in my opinion, have killed for the forseeable future any likelihood of Apple and Facebook joining forces. Personally I see it as no great loss. 

Dangling the Apple Ipad2 of Temptation

So, the iPad 2 has arrived amid the usual Apple back-slapping and re-use of the "magical" rhetoric.

And this time round I'm actually tempted. 

This is not so much about the iPad 2 device and specifications per se - indeed, I would dearly love a better screen resolution and screen shape. So what is it? 

Well, when Jobs launched the iPad in 2010 he called it "game changing" and I chortled somewhat dismissivley under my breath; after all, the tablet concept had been tried before and not really taken on. The big bets were on netbooks which were gaining ground on laptops and well, to some critics, it seemed to be more a triumph of form over function. 

But, you know, Jobs was right. You can't ship 16 million devices (where others have failed) and not consider it some kind of success. And what that whole process has done has shift expectations. It's perfectly natural now to see tablets in use in all manner of environments from the corporate world, to healthcare, to teaching to starbucks.

So, setting aside arguments over whether iOS beats Android or a 7 inch screen is better than a 9 inch screen, the bottom line is the translation of the iPhone interface onto the iPad has introduced a new form of interaction that has created a compelling user experience. (And, after all, that's what Apple trades on).

So while I've been spending the year hacking away on my Netbook, the whole process of getting to grips with my iPhone 4 and Kindle has been teaching me that there is a user experience out there waiting for me, that is not simply a miniature re-incarnation of a legacy PC experience.

And that experience is not just about the user interface on the device, but also the whole lifestyle experience that surrounds it. It incorporates the ability to "pick up and go" in an instant; extended battery life; to travel with the device easily; to hook into a content and applications eco-system. These are factors that make simply owning the device easier, before you even consider the joy of its usability. 

My weekly routine of commuting to a travelodge and back, often late at night, is certainly a drag. And it's that dragworthiness that often saps me of the energy to even contemplate unpacking, unfolding and plugging in a laptop or netbook. Yet I've never had that problem with my iPhone. Always there, always on, quick and simple to use in bitesize chunks: that's just how my life is structured, if only I had a bigger screen. Enter the tablet. 

So, despite my utmost scepticim initially, I'm now at the point to embrace an iPad or tablet device (though most likely an iPad, because I'm sucking into the Apple eco-system. Clever Apple.) It's form, its performance, its behaviour, its slickly beautiful intuitive user experience all serve to address my emerging needs. Needs I didn't realise I had, because there was nothing to satisfy them in a neatly integrated way. But I can now see a perfect fit for this device in my nomadic life.