Activating Apple ID 2FA and adding separate dev accounts to an iOS device

The starting point

I registered my Apple ID before iCloud existed. It is the Apple ID I use for App Store purchases, Apple Music, and, because I registered as a developer before iOS existed, it is also my developer account.

So all my devices are setup with two Apple IDs: the one I just mentioned, let’s call it my primary Apple ID, and my iCloud account, which was registered back in the days of .Mac.

The primary account did not have 2FA turned on, but the iCloud account did.

Activating 2FA and adding separate developer accounts

Apple is now requiring Developer accounts have 2FA turned on as a security measure. So I needed to:

  1. Activate 2FA for my primary Apple ID (the one I don’t use for iCloud)
  2. Add a separate developer account to my primary device, so that I can get 2FA codes when needed.

Activating 2FA for my primary Apple ID

Just to recap, this is the Apple ID that I don’t use for iCloud.

I thought activating 2FA for this account would be just a matter of logging in to, and enabling it. It turns out, there was no way to enable it, and there was no way to add a phone number to the account (which I guess might be the ultimate reason why it was not possible to activate 2FA)

And when I say it was not possible, I mean there was a button to do so, that when clicked, showed a popup advising to activate 2FA from an iOS device, in Settings.

But again as this account is not an iCloud account, there is no way to do that from an iOS device. Dead end.

What I ended up doing was a second iOS device, log into iCloud on that second device using my primary Apple ID, add a trusted phone number, and finally activate 2FA.

First problem solved. My primary Apple ID is 2FA enabled now.

Adding separate developer accounts to my primary device.

This turned out a two step process that is perfectly described in these two posts: first, activating 2FA for the second account and then adding the second account to my primary device.

The first step is simple. To activate 2FA for the second developer account, I added a second user to my Mac, switched to that second user, logged into iCloud using my second developer account, added a phone number (to receive the validation codes), and activated 2FA.

After that, on my primary device, add the second developer account as an iCloud account, sign into it turning off all data (email, contacts, iCloud Drive) validating the log in with my Mac.

Good to go

Now I can receive 2FA codes for three developer accounts on my main device.

The process was not very intuitive, to say the least. Having one device with three iCloud accounts setup in it does not make me feel particularly safe, and I think I am going to try to setup a separate device, without any personal data, just for 2FA codes for my developer accounts.

The little details

From time to time, you still find some delightful details in Apple’s software and hardware. Today I noticed that, when trying to activate Do Not Disturb on my Apple Watch, there are options from “activate until I leave this location” and for “activate until I finish this activity”

Colour me delighted

One of those times where it just works.

That is not going to age well

As part of the expansion of the MTR network, there are some retrofitting works going on at Admiralty Station.

Months ago, when the South Island Line started service, I noticed the decor of this flight of stairs.

Yes, that’s a QR code. That is a not attached to the wall, it is a mosaic wall.

I can’t help but wonder if that QR code will age as well as this, in another corridor, a few metres away

TIL: protocols and lazy var

TIL this builds:

Swift never ceases to amaze me

WordCamp Taipei 2018

I am still on the long bus ride home from the airport, after an exhausting weekend in Taipei.

Earlier today I spoke at WordCamp Taipei. The experience has been draining, and at the same time extremely rewarding. So rewarding that I might actually consider doing it again 😊

Anyway, I would like to thank the organisers of the first ever WordCamp Taipei for the amazing work they have done. The event run smoothly, so smoothly that you can’t help but thinking “wow, these people have put lots of work and care into this”.


I love music, I have always spent insane amounts of time hoarding and listening to music, and I the only thing I dearly miss from having a “regular” home, friends and family aside 😛, is having a good sound system (and the accompanying collection of vinyl records).

So I have been interested in getting a HomePod since it was announced, but I have not been able to actually get one until last week, while on a trip to the US.

Here are some random thoughts, after a few days at home:

  • The quality of the sound is very good. Maybe it’s just because it’s not that hard to fill a small Hong Kong apartment with sound, but music sounds great. It is not as good as my recollection of my old sound system, but I have to admit that my recollection is probably a bit off, due to a combination of time and the emotional connection to it.
  • Siri in Spanish seems to fail consistently in some queries and commands that Siri in English can manage perfectly, even with my accent. It might be because I have not found the keywords in Spanish yet, but I think there is something more to it.
  • Entering the apartment and whispering “Hey Siri, play some indie music”, and get some actual music to play, makes me feel like we are truly living in the future.
  • I have a couple of Hue lightbulbs, and setting automations (i.e. switching on the living room’s lights when anyone enters the apartment at night) also makes me feel like we are living in the future.
  • Getting the HomePod through airport security was interesting. I had to go through two security checks, and while in the first one they didn’t bat an eyelid, on the second one the HomePod had to go through the X-ray machine three times.
  • Did I mention it sounds great?

In a nutshell, being, as I am, fully invested in the ecosystem (Apple Music, HomeKit, iOS & macOS) it’s great to have a source of quality sound again, particularly now that I am working fully remote.