If you have a family with multiple Apple devices (or even a group of friends or flatmates), Family Sharing could save you a significant amount of money as well as streamlining your content sharing. Apple's family sharing is an amazing way to share apps and Apple services across your household while also ensuring your kids don't access content that they shouldn't be.
Family sharing allows your family or group to share the same iTunes, and App Store purchases, Apple subscriptions and also iCloud storage. So what are the benefits of Apple Family Sharing? We take a closer look at them below:
Apple's Family Sharing is capable of having up to six people connected at once, including yourself. This means you can have six Apple ID's with up to ten devices each, linked to your Family Sharing service. That is a potential of 60 devices benefitting from single iCloud storage plan which could save your significant amounts rather than all having single, individual subscriptions which you are each paying for monthly.
You can also share subscriptions with Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iTunes, Apple Books and App Store purchases. This is a huge bonus and spreading the cost around your family, household or friends can benefit you all with your monthly subscription bills!
Some of you may be thinking "What if my child does not have an Apple ID?". Well, that is a very relevant question! Apple have minimum age to create an Apple ID, which is 13. This restriction is important to ensuring your children's safety.
When it comes to Family Sharing, you are able to create an Apple ID for you child and enable features such as 'Ask to Buy' which sends a notification to your phone when your child is asking to download an app or purchase something through their Apple ID.
For those in your household over 13, they can have their own personal Apple ID account which you can link with Family Sharing at the click of a few buttons.
When using Family Sharing, there is one 'organiser' who controls who is part of the family and what is shared between members. If you are the organiser, go to settings > your name > Family Sharing to create your new family group. You can do this through sending invitations to existing Apple ID's or creating new Apple ID's for those under 13 in your household who may have devices for school or personal use.
From here you can personalise what to share on a per-account basis. For instance, you may want to share Apple TV+ with an older member of the family, but not one of your under 13 members, so you can select for this to happen. Or you could enable 'Ask to Buy' on any device which means others in the family can request App Store or iTunes purchases. Once they request this, a notification is automatically sent to one of your Apple devices to either approve or deny. If it is approved, the payment will automatically be made using the payment details saved on your organiser Apple ID.
Apple's family sharing is a free service (not including any shared subscriptions) and is available on any iOS device running iOS 8 or later and Mac running macOS Yosemite or later. The ability to share files and subscriptions is a game changer and can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. The ability to also monitor some of your children's activities may also be a huge benefit for those of you with families. This can help save you time and ensure your children cannot make any purchases that they shouldn't be without your consent.