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Apple announces Family Sharing

Family Sharing makes it easy to share your account with iOS 8

Sharing an Apple account across multiple devices is currently a nightmare but iOS 8 looks set to change all that.

The new Family Sharing plans announced at WWDC allow you to add up to six family members and share iTunes and App Store purchases, photos to just those people, and add all devices to Find my iPhone, and more.

One feature of Family Sharing is that the accounts will all share the same credit card, which may lead to some anxious parents but Apple has thought this through. If a child goes to buy something from the App Store then it will prompt them to ask for permission. A pop-up will then appear on the parent’s phone and they can decide whether to allow or deny. Maybe you can make them do a few more chores first!

Parents will have to give permission for purchases with Family Sharing

Parents will have to give permission for purchases with Family Sharing

When sharing an iTunes account another problem that often arises is sharing movies, songs, or apps across all of your devices. Family Sharing in iOS 8 will now let you access the purchased libraries of all the group members, meaning you don’t have to purchase several times over.

Find that device

With devices often being lost as well, Family Sharing will let you add multiple devices to Find my iPhone. You’ll then be able to use all the usual Find my iPhone functionality such as sending a noise or locking it down if it’s been stolen.

So Meg is somewhere in San Francisco.

So Meg is somewhere in San Francisco.

Lastly, Family Sharing will let you create shared photo streams that are private to just your group. Now you’ll be able to see all the holiday snaps on all the devices without a cumbersome sync process.

Family Sharing with iOS 8 should finally take away the problems encountered by having many devices registered to one Apple account. It’s still not quite multi-user support on a single device, but it’s almost there.

Check out more of our iOS 8 coverage here.