While there are many great apps to use on mobile devices, nothing beats a program that you can share and use with your family members. Especially if you’re using one with in-app purchases or a subscription that you can then pass around rather than repurchase services across multiple devices to get the same experience.
That latter point is something that has been missing from many Apple apps, although Apple has now announced that subscriptions and one-time in-app purchases can now be shared among family members. What this essentially means is that if you subscribe to an app and share it with members of your family, it can be done without needing to have multiple accounts. Even better, if you’re purchasing a consumable item, like coins in a game, and have a subscription version of the game, you can share that in-app purchase with members of your family too. Something which might help stretch those expensive microtransactions a little further.
This is a feature that developers will still need to make the decision to use, but at least it now exists and makes it significantly easier for smaller apps that don’t have any form of sharing features to now do so. Not many apps are making use of the feature but expect that to change as it gets rolled out more widely.
If you are the person who buys the subscriptions in the family, you can check which of them have the option to share by going to Settings, then clicking on your name. From there, tap Subscriptions. At the top of the screen, there will be a switch labelled Share New Subscriptions. Setting it to on will automatically give your family members access to any eligible in-app subscriptions that you sign up for. Though if you are a little embarrassed by what you are spending your money on in specific apps, might be best to keep this switched off.
It may seem like a minor change but can have big benefits to how bigger families might make use of certain apps and encourage more subscriptions and in-app purchases if it’s possible for people to share the benefits with their family members.
Last Updated: December 7, 2020