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Share smartphone content with family

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Social Media
Tool description
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Want to share apps, music, and photos on multiple devices in a joint family account? For this, they can use Apple’s Family Sharing or Google’s Family Media Library . This way you can save costs and at the same time have a say in which apps your children use. This sounds practical at first, but there are also some things to consider.

With family sharing or family media library you can:

share media and apps: All apps you purchase are available to all family members. Photos, music, videos, books, and movies and series can also be shared. It is also possible to share your location with others.

consent to your child’s app use: You can enable adult permissions with both a family account. If your child wants to download an app, you or other guardians will be asked to confirm.

set up restrictions on app and in-app purchases: In the Google Family group, you can restrict in-app purchases for under-18s. With Apple screen time, you can set up more restrictions for your kids. You should refresh the settings when an app is re-downloaded. Don’t forget to discuss with your child what he or she can already decide for him- or herself and what is not yet possible, and set up rules for media use together.

Set up a family

On both iOS devices and Android devices running Google, guardians and their children can register as a family:

iOS: Up to six family members can be added on the iPhone, iPad or MacBook if they have an Apple ID. The minimum age to create your own Apple ID is 13. However, as a parent, you have the option to set up one or more child IDs. In addition, as the organizer of the family group, you can designate additional guardians.

Android: On Android devices, you can create and manage a family group with up to five members in the Google Play Store under “Account”. For children under the age of 13, only you as a parent can create a Google Account for your child. All family members must register for the family group via the Play Store. You can invite family members as an administrator and manage them.

You can find out how to activate family sharing on iOS and the family media library on Android and make other settings on DeinHandy magazine and on the help pages of Google and Apple.

What to consider?

Google’s Family Media Library or Apple’s Family Sharing is free, but you partially “pay” with your personal data. Some data are useful and necessary to use the functions, others are not. Therefore, use the possible settings for data protection. According to Google, the children’s data is not used for personalized advertising or passed on to third parties.

If you share your location within the family, for example, you should be aware that this also means that the company can follow your and your children’s everyday life at every turn. Consider together when it makes sense to use certain features, such as location sharing, and when it should remain disabled if you want to use a shared family account.

Without depositing a payment method, the family sharing or family media library function is not possible. Be aware that this gives Apple and Google access to your credit card, if applicable, your purchase history, and the online behavior of all family members.

If you use devices with different operating systems in your family, using the family function is more difficult. On an iPad and iPhone, you can log in to your Google Play accountvia the Internet browser and make settings under “Family Group”. Since Android devices with Google do not have an Apple ID, Apple Family Sharing cannot be connected to the device.

The presented features can be handy, but they also invade the privacy of you and your children. Consider carefully whether they need such help, or whether you can also achieve safe cell phone use for your child through conversation and clear rules.

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