family sharing Stories April 14, 2016

Apple has announced that users can no longer setup iTunes Allowances for kids from today, ahead of a complete shutdown of the iTunes Allowances program on May 25th, 2016. iTunes Allowances let parents set up monthly credit for their kids to spend on App Store and iTunes Store purchases.

In the support note announcing the closure, Apple recommends families instead use Family Sharing to manage purchase and spending habits across family members. This does not impact the availability of iTunes Gifts — Apple customers will still be able to buy iTunes gift cards to give to friends and family as normal.

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family sharing Stories March 11, 2016

I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.

While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.

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family sharing Stories September 19, 2014

Before Family Sharing, there was Home Sharing, which allowed you to share apps and media with your family by having an Apple ID that contained the purchases to be used on up to five computers and an unlimited number of iOS devices. For your family to make purchases with that Apple ID, they either know the password to that Apple ID (which also means they can access your passwords, credit card information, documents), or they have to go to the account holder every time they want to purchase an app or music.

Now with iOS 8 there is Family Sharing and it does not require sharing an Apple ID. Instead your family of five (six including yourself) each have their own Apple ID with the same credit card and can download apps and iTunes. Your family does have to have their Apple ID based in the same country. Also, parents can approve their kids’ purchases right from their device. Besides managing the App Store and iTunes purchases, Family Sharing can help you track where your children are using Find My Friends and can help find their lost devices using Find my iPhone.

Family Sharing also allows you to easily create a shared family calendar and shared family reminder list that anyone in the family can view and edit. It also creates a shared family photo album. In this how to, I will discuss how to set up Family Sharing and how to use it.

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family sharing Stories August 8, 2014

According to a new tag discovered on iOS App Store pages by iFun, it would appear that Apple is testing a new label for applications that work with the upcoming Family Sharing feature in iOS 8. The feature, which was announced at WWDC, allows a family to share a single list of purchased music, movies, and iOS apps, all charged to a single credit card. It also includes parental controls so that purchases require permission from the card holder.

Apple has given third-party developers the option to opt-out of this program, however, which would require users to purchase such apps once for each member of the family, rather than once for everyone. To ensure that there’s no confusion among those looking to buy apps for a whole family, it looks like Apple will be labeling apps that support the feature the same way it highlights apps that Game Center, in-app purchases, and other iOS features.

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family sharing Stories June 17, 2014

The latest beta software for the Apple TV brings one of iOS 8’s headline features to the (former) hobby device: iCloud Family Sharing. While the feature isn’t yet functional, it’s expected that users will be able to log into one account and access purchased music and movies, shared photos, and more from other devices on the same family sharing account…

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family sharing Stories June 2, 2014

Earlier today Apple announced the next version of its iOS software, iOS 8, during the WWDC keynote today. Below you’ll find a gallery of all the new bells and whistles in the latest operating system. If you’ve got some screenshots you’d like to send us, you can send them to tips@9to5mac.com.

The new software includes features like iOS-to-Mac continuity, quick-reply for first- and third-party apps, a new predictive text keyboard, changes to the Mail appHealthKit framework and Health app, Family Sharing features, new Photos cloud storage, an updated iCloud pricing scheme, new commands for Siri, App Store changes including beta distribution, a Touch ID API, third-party keyboards, new iCloud management and development features, a home automation framework, and even support for a brand new programming language.

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