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Apple yesterday quietly expanded its Family Sharing App Store functionality, adding a new App Store toggle that allows family members to share in-app subscriptions with one another. Apple today confirmed that the functionality has now rolled out and that it's also applicable to in-app purchases.

share-new-subscriptions-family-sharing.jpg

In an update for developers, Apple says that it's now possible for them to enable Family Sharing for auto-renewable subscriptions and non-consumable in-app purchases, allowing all members of a family group to enjoy the benefits of these features.
You can now enable Family Sharing for auto-renewable subscriptions and non-consumable in-app purchases, allowing users to share their purchases with up to five family members. Family Sharing provides a streamlined, convenient user experience and can help you attract subscribers, encourage paid subscriptions, increase user engagement, and improve retention. Sales and Trends reports will be updated soon to help you understand the performance of family subscriptions.
Non-consumable in-app purchases include in-app purchases that unlock app features rather than those that use coins or other currency to purchase expendable in-app or in-game items.

Apple first announced these subscription and in-app purchase sharing options in June, and said that the functionality would come in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur.

Developers can choose to implement Family Sharing for in-app purchases or subscriptions or can opt to require each member of the family to subscribe separately or make separate purchases.

Prior to now, if one member of a family purchased an app that included a subscription benefit or an app feature that was unlocked via an in-app purchase, there was no built-in way for those features to be shared with other family members.

The Settings section of the App Store now has a "Share New Subscriptions" feature that's enabled automatically for people who use Family Sharing. To access in-app purchases from an app purchased by another family member, the app should be downloaded from the family member's purchased history. These features will only be available for apps where developers have enabled Family Sharing functionality.

Article Link: Apple Confirms Family Sharing for In-App Purchases and Subscriptions is Now Available
 
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480951

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Aug 14, 2010
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I’m curious if Plex will allow this, as I made the one time $7 purchase to use it on my iPad, and my wife needs to do the same to use it on hers even though we’re using the same server and on a family plan together.
 
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jclo

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Dec 7, 2012
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FYI - For free apps with IAP unlocks (like Infuse), you‘ll need to download the free app from the family purchases list of the user that bought the IAP.

Thanks for the tip. Added that info to the article too.
 
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gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
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Good tip. I have subscriptions to several apps that I wonder if this applies to. My wife pays a subscription to the same services on several of these because it was not an option before. Guess I have will have to play around a bit and see.
 
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bigboy29

macrumors regular
May 19, 2016
207
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If I understand this correctly, what Apple enabled by default is that you share subscriptions with family.... but developers still need to enable this sharing in their apps. In other words - if developers would rather not share subscriptions with family, they do not need to implement this sharing, and the fact that it is enabled in App sore will not matter.

Great that this is becoming a possibility, though, but I wonder how many will go for it.
 
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itsmeaustend

macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2016
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Thats great news ... And seems to be enabled by default, at least it was for me
This is not true. It has to be explicitly enabled per app by each developer. It is disabled by default. Unless you're talking about this checkbox that enables the option, however, don't expect it on every app.
 
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Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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While Apple calls them "NON-Consumable" In-App Purchases (IAPs), I believe a better label would have been "One-Time-Purchase," OR simply combine the two like this:

... NON-Consumable (i.e., One-Time-Purchase) ...
 
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bflowers

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Jul 19, 2006
632
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That's great, but it still won't let me share the Apple services free trials my wife got with her new phone with the rest of our Family group. She has access to our shared iCloud data plan and year of TV+ (not that she needs that with her own free year), but can't share the Music, Arcade, or News she is currently getting.
 
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Santiago

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Jun 14, 2002
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Mountain View, California
While Apple calls them "NON-Consumable" In-App Purchases (IAPs), I believe a better label would have been "One-Time-Purchase," OR simply combine the two like this:

... NON-Consumable (i.e., One-Time-Purchase) ...
I wish Apple made a bigger distinction between these two on the App Store, like they do with free vs paid. I'm fine with one-time-purchases for content, but want nothing to do with apps full of consumable purchases. Right now, you're stuck with having to scroll down to In-App Purchases and see what's listed there.
 
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bflowers

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2006
632
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That's great, but it still won't let me share the Apple services free trials my wife got with her new phone with the rest of our Family group. She has access to our shared iCloud data plan and year of TV+ (not that she needs that with her own free year), but can't share the Music, Arcade, or News she is currently getting.
 
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mcdawg

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2015
133
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While Apple calls them "NON-Consumable" In-App Purchases (IAPs), I believe a better label would have been "One-Time-Purchase," OR simply combine the two like this:

... NON-Consumable (i.e., One-Time-Purchase) ...
Hey, that works for me, as that's the only kind I buy.
Never bought a gem, or a sackful of koins, or a bucketful of twinkles. 🤪
 
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mcdawg

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2015
133
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I wish Apple made a bigger distinction between these two on the App Store, like they do with free vs paid. I'm fine with one-time-purchases for content, but want nothing to do with apps full of consumable purchases. Right now, you're stuck with having to scroll down to In-App Purchases and see what's listed there.
👍
Good point.
A-greed.
 
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jennyp

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2007
505
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That's great, but it still won't let me share the Apple services free trials my wife got with her new phone with the rest of our Family group. She has access to our shared iCloud data plan and year of TV+ (not that she needs that with her own free year), but can't share the Music, Arcade, or News she is currently getting.

Isn't it the case that you can share a News subscription but not an Apple Music subscription? I think if you want to share Apple Music you're forced to go for a 'family' subscription. Someone please correct me if I have that wrong.
 
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wnissen

macrumors newbie
Jan 31, 2019
3
3
This is long, long overdue. It should be mandatory. Why should I have to pay twice to activate a guidebook, or go ad free in a game? I solve this by giving all users their own Apple IDs, but logging in to iTunes and App Store with a shared ID. The only real downside is that all payments go through the same card, but that's not a problem for us. I don't even actually use Family Sharing in this setup.
 
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jjartlip

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2020
3
1
I am currently signed up for Apple Music under a “student account” does this mean I can share it with my wife or do we still need to sign up for a family plan?
 
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DarthDale

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2013
3
1
If I understand this correctly, what Apple enabled by default is that you share subscriptions with family.... but developers still need to enable this sharing in their apps. In other words - if developers would rather not share subscriptions with family, they do not need to implement this sharing, and the fact that it is enabled in App sore will not matter.

Great that this is becoming a possibility, though, but I wonder how many will go for it.
I’m am doubtful 🤨 developers will do this. What is the incentive? Once Apple stated the IAP process and it was not available to the family share I stopped buying anything that had an IAP subscription and looked for alternate products.
 
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John.B.Sirius

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2019
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This is long, long overdue. It should be mandatory. Why should I have to pay twice to activate a guidebook, or go ad free in a game? I solve this by giving all users their own Apple IDs, but logging in to iTunes and App Store with a shared ID. The only real downside is that all payments go through the same card, but that's not a problem for us. I don't even actually use Family Sharing in this setup.
As far as I am aware, with Family Sharing enabled, all purchases go through the payment method for the "Head of Family" account as well. I wanted to do just what you did --a common Store ID (like apps, iTunes, Books) with individual user IDs.

The big issue here is you can only associate 10 devices with that "purchasing ID". For example for my family of four, we have 5 iPads, 2 iPhones, 4 Macs, 2 Apple TVs, and 2 Apple Watches, so a common ID used for purchase wouldn't work...

Just pointing this out in case people weren't aware of the 10 device limit, so you avoid the possibility of having to repurchase apps when someone decides they want their own store ID, or you exceed the 10 device limit.
 
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Johnz47

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2020
1
0
Finally. I can make my kids accounts and share them my apps without having to buy them 3 times !!!
 
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gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
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This is not true. It has to be explicitly enabled per app by each developer. It is disabled by default. Unless you're talking about this checkbox that enables the option, however, don't expect it on every app.
They were talking about the option in the phone. Its on by default so if an app offers it, the option is already in place to make it happen.
 
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tunastink

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2019
31
57
Now that this is possible, I’m trying to find a language-learning app which I can pay for once and share across the family’s devices. Is there a way to figure out if a Subscription will be shareable without having to download each app and go all the way through the Subscribe flow?
 
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