During the WWDC Keynote, Apple announced macOS Big Sur with several new changes to the UI, Control Center on macOS for the first time, revamped Safari, modern notifications, and widgets. They’ve also added a new developer option to enable the sharing of in-app purchases and subscriptions across Family Sharing.

I’ve been using Family Sharing since Apple Music launched in 2015, and I now have my entire family set up on it. Even my daughter, who’s under five, already has an iCloud account set up with an email address. She also uses Apple Music on her iPad to listen to music.

Apple has allowed families to share app downloads for many years, but in-app purchases and subscriptions were always a per-user option. With macOS Big Sur, developers will now have the option to allow users to share IAP and subscriptions. While it wasn’t mentioned during the Keynote, it was in the press release on Apple Newsroom.

Developers can now also offer Family Sharing for their in-app purchases and subscriptions, and with support for the WebExtensions API, developers can easily bring extensions built for other browsers over to Safari.
Developers will have to selectively add this option so that it’s automatic for end-users. For high-end apps, they will likely still require individual purchases, but I imagine a lot of children’s apps will have a family option. This addition wasn’t mentioned in the press release for iOS 14 or iPadOS 14, but it likely applies to all of Apple’s purchasing platforms.

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Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

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