From time to time I write about competing services to Dropbox, such as Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud. This post explains what is iOS Family Sharing, a neat feature for family members using Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads. It’s also a tool that can help parents control their kids’ iPhone usage.
Family Sharing lets family members share photo albums, eBooks, music, calendars, and other content and data across multiple iPhones (and other iOS devices, such as iPads) in your household. A parent can have control over kids’ app and music purchases, people can add events to a shared calendar, and photos can be shared as well. There’s even a service that lets you see other family members’ locations on a map.
Assuming you are the adult in the family, here’s how to set it up:
- Go to Settings and tap your name or face at the top of the screen. Then tap Family.
- You should be labelled as the Organizer. Tap your name and make sure Share My Purchases is toggled on. You may also need to set up the payment account for shared purchases, using a credit card.
- Tap Add a Family Member, and type that person’s name or email address. The name may auto-populate from your Contacts.
- Follow the prompts to log into iCloud, and tap Next.
- The other family member will be sent an invitation.
Once family members join the shared account, everyone will be able to access movies, songs, apps, and other content ordered by any other person in the family. If you want to hide certain purchases from other family members, you can mark them as private. You can also have other family members ask for permission before buying something—a great way to set limits for kids.