Appmakers asked to turn on Family Sharing for iOS 8 and Yosemite

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At WWDC, Apple debuted its new Family Sharing feature, which allows up to six members of a household to share calendars and even iTunes purchases when using the same credit card — meaning the end of multiple iTunes accounts for different family members.

While Family Sharing allows users to set up their family as a unit able to share photos, calendars, locations, etc. more significant to developers is that it lets users share songs, books, movies, apps, and other purchases.

With this in mind, Apple has sent out emails via iTunes Connect asking developers to opt-in to the new program — urging them to agree to the new iOS and Mac Paid Applications Agreement. Developers have the option of keeping past purchases out of the program — suggesting that this same option will be available to future apps as well.

At least in part, Apple’s Family Sharing feature is designed to stop the company from being sued, by incorporating parental controls allowing parents to approve in-app purchases and downloads initiated by their children. With the new feature, parents have the ability to accept or reject purchases remotely.

  • g7221

    Someone help me understand how family sharing helps or hurts parental controls. We already have the control of purchases by simply not giving our kids the iTunes password. If they want an app they have to bring it to us and we put in the password. We already share one iTunes account. Through that one iTunes account we can control what is downloaded to their device and even remotely lock their phone or iPod through find my iPhone. We set up a separate iTunes account and use it on individual devices for iMessages, and emails. What I would like is more control over history by device, the ability to read text messages remotely, and more closely monitor accounts like instagram. I also want apps like IGN App for Elder Scrolls to not be able to embed Youtube with no parental controls inside their apps.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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