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Managing multiple personalities is hard enough offline, but it’s also difficult on the Internet. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is reportedly working to figure out a way for those who have multiple identities across Apple services to merge those into a single one, lest confusion reign.
We’re probably just a few weeks away from the official launch of iCloud, Apple’s re-imagined service for connecting Apple devices, and according to a report last week from Ars Technica Apple is still trying to figure out a way to let people with multiple user names for Apple services log into the same account. Everyone with an iOS device also has an Apple ID, which is used to log into iTunes and the App Store.
But some people use their IDs for MobileMe, the service iCloud will replace, to access the App Store from their Mac or PC. It’s not as big a deal on the computer, since multiple accounts can be synced to a single computer, but it’s a thorny issue for iPhones and iPads.
Apple would like to find a way to let people use multiple identities–say a personal account and a family account–to sync apps or music to a single device, and that’s simply not possible right now. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Apps users have sometimes struggled with this concept as well, having trouble switching between a work Gmail account and a personal one.
It’s not clear how many people this problem might affect, as MobileMe is a service that hasn’t been used by nearly as many people as iOS devices and the iTunes Store and therefore this notion of identity confusion could be limited to a small subset of users who have embraced Apple wholeheartedly. However, iCloud is an important launch for Apple to get past the embarrassment of the 2008 MobileMe launch debacle, and any problems that might affect Apple’s most dedicated customers will not be well received.