Family Sharing in iOS is designed to help families or groups of users (up to a maximum of 6) to share apps, iBooks, photos, calendars, reminders and more from one single Apple ID. Although individual members may have their own Apple ID, it doesn’t make sense for each one in the group to purchase the same app multiple times. Family Sharing therefore brings cost savings and more controls over kids spending while keeping everyone connected. The feature has been greatly enhanced in iOS 8 to bring some sense and organization into the business of sharing with others. If you have just upgraded to iOS 8 or have picked up an iPhone 6, you can set up Family sharing in a few quick steps.
Family Sharing in iOS 8 works by having one member of the family, ideally a parent setting up family Sharing and setting up payments for purchasing iTunes, iBooks, or App Store items using his or her debit or credit card. That individual will then invite up to 5 additional members into the Family Sharing circle. Once the members join in, the Family Sharing features are set up on each individual person’s device automatically.
Once this is done, every purchase or download made by family members is accessible to everyone else. You’ll find all the content in the Purchased tab in iTunes, iBooks or App Store on each individual’s account. You can browse through each person’s purchases, pick out the apps you want to use and download them onto your device. If you don’t want certain members to view certain content, you can hide them, but this cannot be done over the iPhone so you’ll have to use iTunes on a PC or Mac to get it done.
All purchases made by any member of the family will be billed to the parent’s account, but the parent gets additional control over who buys what. By turning on Ask to Buy, the parent can choose whether kids be allowed to purchase a specific content or not. And when a purchase is made, the parent is immediately alerted as to the transaction, which he or she can approve or deny. This even works for free downloads, so freemium apps will get caught in the net, so to speak. The only instance where Ask to Buy doesn’t work is when it comes to downloading content via redemption codes.
Now that you know a bit about Family Sharing, let’s get started with the setup.
How to Enable Family Sharing in iPhone 6 or Other iOS 8 Device
1. On your iPhone 6, go to Settings.
2. Scroll down to iCloud and tap to open it.
3. Tap Set Up Family Sharing.
4. In the next screen, tap Get Started.
5. In the Family Setup screen, tap Continue. If you haven’t signed in yet, then sign in using your Apple ID credentials.
6. In the Share purchases screen, click Continue.
7. In the next screen, you will be able to check your payment method. If you did not create one while setting up your account, you will be asked to Go to Settings, tap on your Apple ID and set up a payment method.
8. Once the payment setup is complete, you can head back to the Family Sharing page tap the Managing Family Purchases link and hit Done.
9. In the Payment method page, click Continue.
10. In the Share your location with your Family page, you can set to share your location. If not, click Not Now.
11. In the family screen, you can now start to add family members by tapping on add Family Member. You can add a name or email address and start sending out invitations.
That’s basically the long and short of it. Be sure to set up Family Sharing if your family members own an iOS 8 device so you can always stay connected, save costs, and enjoy more control over kids spending.