Family Sharing Comes to Google Play

Posted on July 27, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, iOS, Android, Windows Weekly with 0 Comments

Family Sharing Comes to Google Play

Google today announced new family sharing functionality for its Google Play Store. Called Family Library, this new feature lets up to six family members share apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books acquired via the Google Play Store.

“Friday night is movie night at our home, and my wife and I look forward to our weekly ritual of putting the kids to bed, getting some takeout, and catching up on our movie wishlist,” Google’s Raj Iyengar explains. “Whether it’s making the BLUE STEEL face from Zoolander, swapping tips on playing Monument Valley, or reading Dragons Love Tacos to the kids at bedtime, these shared moments bring us closer together.”

Family Library appears to work similarly to functionality that Apple has offered iOS users for years through its app and content stores. (And, no, Microsoft fans, there’s really nothing like this in Windows Store, though you have to think that’s coming. Always the follower.)

Family Library works as you’d expect. You can add other family members via their Google IDs and then share “eligible” content with them, across their various devices. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web, Google says. (Obviously, Android app and game purchases won’t work on iOS.)

There’s also a UI for configuring which content is shared. So if you don’t want little Johnny watching your R-rated movie collection, you can configure that.

And as with any other family sharing plan, you’ll need a credit card for your family payment method, which will be usable by anyone, though you can configure it so that younger family members need approval from you before they can make purchases. Family members can optionally use their own payment methods as well.

Family Library will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. I can’t get into the site now, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m in France.

Separately, Google is also expanding the Google Play Music family plan, which lets up to six family members enjoy the service for just $14.99 per month, to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand.


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