If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t get movies or songs from iTunes or why there are error messages when you try to get certain apps for your iPad, it is because we in Malaysia are using a “Malaysia” Apple ID by default which we showed you how to do here. This ID only allows us access to the Malaysia iTunes Store which has different content from the US version of the store.
It’s quite annoying. Kind of like when YouTube doesn’t allow you to watch certain videos because you live outside of the US.
What’s in the US iTunes Store?
What are we missing out on? A LOT.
Music! Movies! iTunes! Compare the screenshot above with the current iTunes app on your iPad and spot the differences.
- Content Variety – Regional restrictions mean that most commercial media content are only available in the US such as movies, TV series, songs, music videos, etc. You will also be able to get apps like Kindle or Pandora that similarly provide content that is restricted outside of the US.
- More FREE Content – There are always weekly free content to be downloaded ranging from sample songs to TV show 1st episode giveaways.
- Promo/Coupon Codes – You can get discounts and special offers by using coupon codes.
Ok great so how do you create a US Apple ID? Hang on just one moment. Creating a US Apple ID when you’re not based in the US is against the iTunes Store’s Terms and Conditions.
Rules are rules.
But hey; let’s assume you’re on a long working holiday in the US or you travel there quite frequently.
Instructions: Create a “US” Apple ID Without a Credit Card
You will need an active Internet Connection so turn on Wi-Fi or 3G/Data and make sure your iPad is connected.
On your iPad, open “Settings” from the Home Screen.
Tap on “Store”. Log out from your Malaysia Apple ID account by tapping on it and then on “Sign Out”.
Go back to the Home Screen and open “App Store”.
Tap on “Top Charts”.
On the right hand side, you will see all the top Free iPad Apps. Choose ANY “FREE” app that you would like to have. In our example, we have chosen the HBO GO app as an example. Go ahead and tap on “FREE” for the app you have chosen and this will turn into a green “INSTALL APP” button which you will also need to tap on.
Tap on “Create New Apple ID”.
Make sure you change store country/region to United States (scroll right to the top of the drop down list) and tap on “Next”.
Tap on “Agree” for the Terms & Conditions. You will have to tap on “Agree” one more time after a prompt pops up.
Fill in your details. You will need to enter a different email address from the one you used for your Malaysia Apple ID or other existing Apple ID you may have created before. Double confirm the email address is correct as you will need to verify this later. Once done, tap on “Next”.
Tap on the “Payment Card” field to change it from Visa to “None”.
If you do not see “None” as an option, double check that you chose a FREE app in Step 3 and not a Paid app.
If that still doesn’t work, you’ll have to try doing this whole registration process in iTunes on a computer. We have posted up an alternative tutorial here: “Create New Apple ID Without a Credit Card [Using iTunes]“. Just remember to adjust the country setting accordingly.
You will now have to fill in a US address and phone number. The Address, City, State, Zip, and Phone that you enter has to match up.
You can find a full valid US address with a matching phone number by simply going to Google Maps. Put in the name of a coffee shop or fast food restaurant (e.g. Mcdonald’s, Starbucks, etc). Click on “Search Maps” and you’ll be able to find an address to choose from. This is of course a hypothetical situation and assuming that you happen to share the same address and phone number as a coffee shop somewhere in the US 😉
Once you’ve filled in everything, tap on “Next” to continue.
You’ve nearly created your Apple ID. You just have to check your email and verify your account from there. Go back to the Home Screen and open “Safari” to browse to your email service.
This is what the verification from Apple looks like. Tap on “Verify Now” and a new window will open up.
Enter your Apple ID (which is your email address) and the password you chose earlier. Tap on “Verify Address”. Once the verification is successful, tap on “Return to the Store”. This will automatically bring up the US App Store.
If you notice on the congratulations screen, Apple tells you that “You can now shop for your favourite music, movies, TV Shows, and more.”
Tap on “Done”. Congrats! You have successfully created a US Apple ID without a credit card.
Using US & Malaysia Apple ID Together
You can use both your US and Malaysia Apple ID on your iPad to browse and download apps/content. You can also sync your iPad as per usual to the iTunes program on your computer. Nothing changes.
The only inconvenience is that you will have to switch between the two accounts (Steps 1 & 2 above) to access the different contents in both stores. Updating an app will also need to be done according to the store which you got it from. For example if you purchased and downloaded Angry Birds from the Malaysia store, you won’t be able to update it (or rather an update won’t even show up) when you are logged in with the US Apple ID.
Conclusion: How to Purchase Content
There are tons of free content on the US iTunes Store compared to our Malaysia store but the real treat is being able to buy media content. What’s fun about paying for movies and music? We don’t know how to explain it but give it a try and you’ll see what we mean.
Obviously the US iTunes and App Store require a US credit card for purchases so in Part 2 of the US iTunes Store Access, we’ll show you how to work around this using US iTunes Gift Cards.