What is Apple’s Family Sharing? It allows up to six people to share music, books, movies, tv shows and apps purchased through Apple.
The good thing is that “Family” is a loose term. All that is required is that the six people invited into the group have an Apple ID in the same country.
To get started one adult family member invites up to 5 additional members. Kids under 13 can be members too with Apple allowing adults to create Apple ID’s for them. The adult who sends the invitation is deemed the organiser. They agree to pay for all iTunes, iBook and App store purchases.
Once setup, all Apple purchases ever made by all members are available to everyone else. Any subsequent purchases appear in the purchased tab.
The good thing is that purchases made by one person don’t automatically download to every member’s device. You can browse another family members collection and then download the content of your choice. Privacy issues have been taken into account as well. Want to keep that Taylor Swift song you downloaded as your guilty pleasure? You can choose to keep individual purchases private.
That doesn’t mean that people can download anything at will. The organiser can elect to turn on “Ask to Buy” for children in the family. This will mean that every time a child makes a purchase the organiser will receive an alert. They can then choose to approve or decline the request. This feature applies whether the content costs money or is free to download.
Another feature of Family Sharing is a family photo album that is set up on every member’s devices. Photos that are placed in the album are viewable and can be commented on by all members. A notification is sent when something new is added.
Family Sharing also creates a family calendar. This is a great tool to ensure no appointment is ever missed. Viewable by every member, you can create or change events. Alerts are sent when changes are made.
Want to know the location of another family member? Perhaps you are all meeting at a restaurant for dinner and want to see how far away someone is. There is an option to share your location with other family members.
Not only does Family Sharing allow you to know the location of other family members but also any lost devices. Other family member’s can see each others devices using the Find My iPhone app.
Now that you’ve seen the features are you keen to set up Family Sharing?
To set it up your device needs to be running iOS8. You also need an Apple account with a linked credit card. If you have these two things then you also need the email addresses of those you want to invite.
Once a family member joins, Family Sharing and its features are automatically set up on everyone’s Apple devices.