What is Apple ID Family Sharing and how it works

What is Apple ID Family Sharing? When many write about the Apple ecosystem, implies the possibility of synchronizing different company devices belonging to the same user. But if you dig deeper, you will notice that the principle of the ecosystem is not limited to a single user. To iOS8 there is a function like “Family Sharing”. At that time, it allowed savings on app purchases within the same family. The combined accounts in such a group had access to each other’s purchases, and it was very convenient.

A family account is not only an opportunity to save money but also to quickly share content.

Family Sharing has received a significant number of new features and functionality over the years. Let’s see how to set it up and what advantages it offers everyone Apple united in one family.

Apple ID Family Sharing

Apple One pushes users to join Family Sharing.

essence Family Sharing lies in the fact that members of the same family – the organizer and five other people united in a group – could use separate accounts for each of their equipment. At the same time, they will have joint access to purchased content. At the same time, only one payment method can be set for all accounts. That is, each of the family members does not have to link their card or phone number for payment, but you can use the one defined by the organizer.

To set up Family Sharing, follow these steps:

Family Sharing is very easy to find in Settings.

Once the settings are made, the whole family can use the common functions. At first, Family Sharing only supported sharing purchased content, shared photo albums, viewing the location of all family members, and finding devices. With the development of services Apple it has become possible, in addition to all of the above, to share the following subscriptions with the family:

  • Apple Music is a music streaming service. For 269 rubles you can get a family subscription, which will apply to all six accounts in family access.
  • AppleTV+ – Apple-branded movies and series. There is only an individual subscription to this service. For 199 rubles per month, it applies to all accounts in family access.
  • apple arcade is a game service that provides access to a large number of games without in-app purchases. Just like Apple TV+, it only has an individual subscription for 199 rubles per month, which applies to all family accounts.
  • iCloud+ Apple cloud service. All subscription options include family storage for backups and other data. 50 GB costs 59 rubles per month, 200 GB – 149 rubles per month, 2 TB – 599 rubles per month. In addition to the cloud space, the email hiding function will also be available.
  • Apple Fitness Plus – a service for auto-sport. There is an individual subscription option for 249 rubles per month. After payment, all accounts will have access to it.

As you can see, the functionality of Family Accounts has grown significantly over the years. You can choose a subscription that suits you and share it with the whole family, saving significant sums. But Apple has only one subscription called AppleOne, which initially includes several of the services described above. Apple One offers the following options:

Detailed Apple One pricing with savings amounts.

  • Individual subscription — for 365 rubles per month you get Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, iCloud+ for 50 GB. This subscription applies only to the account that registered it and does not apply to family members.
  • Family Membership – for 525 rubles per month, all the same services as in an individual subscription, only iCloud + for 200 GB. And this version can apply to all accounts in family access. If you separately issue at least three of the four subscriptions available in this option, it will turn out to be more expensive than using Apple One.
  • First – for 995 rubles per month you will receive the same services as in the family subscription, only iCloud + will be 2 TB and Apple Fitness + is added. This is Apple’s most improved subscription. It includes all Apple services with Family Sharing.

If you use them with the whole family, then this will be the best option, which will allow you to save 520 rubles per month on their payment.

Shared Photos – iCloud

Shared purchases are located in the App Store within the account.

But subscriptions aren’t all that’s limited to Family Sharing. You can also share purchased content between accounts. To enable access to purchases, you must:

If this switch is not enabled, purchases will not be visible to other users.

  • Go to settings.
  • Sign into your account.
  • Open Family Sharing.
  • Go to the section “General Purchases”.
  • Turn on the “Share purchases with family” switch.

Unfortunately, access to iCloud+ Also, not all family members will automatically open upon subscription. To share iCloud space with other Family Sharing members, you must:

  • Go to settings.
  • Sign into your account.
  • Open Family Sharing.
  • Go to section iCloud+ and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once the parameters have been defined, the other accounts in family access will be able to store their data in iCloud. Separately, it is worth noting the ability to create shared albums with all family members. To do this, you need to perform the following steps:

Shared albums are enabled from Settings and then created through Photos.

But in iOS16 Apple decided not to limit itself to albums, but introduced iCloud Shared Library. Once activated, it will get there automatically:

  • All your photos and videos.
  • Photos after a certain date or with specific people.
  • Manually selected photos.

All family members will be able to add, delete or modify photos. This will allow you not to transfer photos and videos between relatives using instant messengers, but simply to give them access, and everything will be downloaded automatically. To enable iCloud Shared Music Library, you need devices with iOS 16 on board.

To date, the operating system only exists in the beta version for developers, so we do not recommend installing it on the main device. If you decide to install it anyway, be sure to make backups so you don’t lose important data. To activate the shared library, you need:

  • On an iOS 16 device, open Settings.
  • Go to “Pictures”.
  • Click on the label “General media library” and follow the on-screen instructions.

After all these settings, five people together with the organizer can add, edit and delete photos from the shared library.

Screen Time on iPhone

One of the coolest family-sharing features. Allows you to remotely control the use of a smartphone by children.

If you have kids in your family and want to control their gadget usage, you can create separate accounts for them, add them to Family Sharing and customize screen time for them. For that:

  • Go to settings.
  • Access your account.
  • Open the Family Sharing section.
  • Launch Screen Time and follow the onscreen instructions.

After that, it will be much easier to limit the time children spend in front of the screen of a smartphone or tablet.

If you’ve never used Family Sharing before and need to save money on family subscriptions or need to share a photo, video or payment method, then I suggest you create one. 

Apple thought this feature very carefully and gave a lot of tools for flexible customization.