Family Sharing is one of the new features in iOS 8. Previously, when each of your family members needed to buy app on their phone, they would have to log in with their own Apple ID. With family sharing, you can now share your purchases with your family members. For instance, if you purchase an app from the App Store for your iDevice, your family members won’t have to buy it again as a single purchase. They will also be able to download the app. Other than apps, it is also applicable to music, movies, and books. You can share your purchases with up to six family members.
In addition to sharing purchases, it also helps you to stay connected with your family. It lets you have a shared photo album wherein all of your family members can upload photos, a shared calendar where you can all see the events and even create new ones. And Find My Phone lets you see where your family members are.
You might be wondering what all it takes to set up family sharing on your iOS 8 device. Well, you’re just a couple of steps away from being able to share a great but costly app with your kids. Here’s how you can set this up on your device:
Setting Up Family Sharing
1. On your device, head to “Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive.” Tap on the option that says “Upgrade to iCloud Drive.” Why you need to do this is because you must first be using Apple’s iCloud to be able to enable the family sharing function.
2. A prompt will appear showing the message that “other iDevices won’t be able to access iCloud unless they run iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite.” Tap on “Continue” and it’ll let you go ahead. Do remember that you will need to upgrade to iOS 8 for all your iDevices and Yosemite for Mac OS X.
3. Once the iCloud Drive is enabled, head to “Settings -> iCloud.” You should be able to see the “Set Up Family Sharing…” option just below your account name. Tap on it, and it’ll let you set up the family sharing function.
4. The first screen tells you what family sharing lets you do on your device. Once you finished reading the info, tap on “Get Started.”
5. Here’s the screen that asks what Apple account you want to use for the shared purchases. If the shown account is what you wish to use, tap on “Continue,” otherwise hit the bottom link to use another Apple account.
6. The next screen asks if your chosen Apple ID will be used for shared purchases. Tap on “Continue” and you’ll move to the next screen.
7. You now need to agree that you’ll pay for the purchases made on your family members’ iDevices. You have the option to approve or decline purchases made by your family members, so this shouldn’t be an issue for you.
8. Once you’ve agreed to pay, you’ll be asked if you wish your iDevice to be located on your family members’ iDevices. You can say “Yes” or “No” depending on your personal preferences.
9. You are done.
The family sharing is now set up on your device, and you can begin adding family members by going to “Settings -> iCloud.” All the people that you add will receive invitations via email, so make sure to use the email addresses that your family members use with their Apple accounts.
Family Sharing is a great feature that helps you save some bucks that would otherwise be spent by your family members on the apps that you have already purchased before. Also, it helps you stay connected with your family with features like Find My Friends and shared photo albums.