How to share App Store subscriptions with your family using iCloud Family Sharing

App Store Subscription Family Sharing

iCloud Family Sharing is a handy feature if you have a family of more than two members. It lets you share app purchases, subscriptions to Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple One, and more with your family. Now, you can also share App Store subscriptions. In this article, we’ll look into how you can enable sharing App Store subscriptions with your iCloud family.

Apple announced App Store subscriptions Family Sharing back in June at its WWDC conference alongside iOS 14. But it is only recently that Apple has quietly enabled the feature.

How it works is if you subscribe to an app’s weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription plans, your family members that are a part of your iCloud Family will be able to take advantage of it without paying extra.

For instance, if you purchase a Fantastical 2 subscription on your iPhone or iPad, your family members who you’ve added to iCloud Family Sharing can also use it until the term of the subscription.

It’s worth noting that developers ultimately have the ability to decide whether they want to make their subscription packages available for Family Sharing. So, if you cannot find an option to turn on subscription sharing for an app you love, it could be that the developer hasn’t implemented it yet for the app.

That said, it is essential that you’ve properly set up and enabled iCloud Family Sharing before trying to enable Family Sharing for App Store Subscriptions. Here’s how to make sure you’ve enabled and it is set up correctly.

How to ensure iCloud Family Sharing is enabled and is set up properly

  1. Head over to Settings.
  2. Tap on [Your Name] at the top.
  3. Tap on Family Sharing.
  4. If your family members appear to be listed, it means that iCloud Family Sharing is set up as expected.
iCloud Family Sharing for App Store Subscriptions

If you do not see a list of your family members there, there’s a chance iCloud Family Sharing isn’t enabled or properly set up. Here’s how to enable iCloud Family Sharing from the Settings app and set it up.

How to enable App Store Subscriptions sharing with your family

There are two methods using which you can share App Store subscriptions with your family. The first one encapsulates all your new subscriptions while the second method lets you individually manage each subscription.

Note: Make sure you are signed in to the App Store with the same Apple ID on which the subscription is active and which is included in your iCloud Family.

Here’s how to enable App Store Subscriptions sharing for all new subscriptions

  1. Head over to the App Store.
  2. Tap on your avatar on the top right corner of the App Store Today tab.
  3. Tap on Subscriptions.
  4. Toggle Share New Subscriptions on (make sure it’s green).

Here’s how to enable App Store Subscriptions sharing for individual apps

You can also share individual subscriptions if you do not want to share all your new subscriptions. Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Head over to the App Store.
  2. Tap on your avatar on the top right corner of the App Store Today tab.
  3. Tap on Subscriptions.
  4. Tap on the app of whose subscription you intend to share with your family members and which supports the Subscription Family Sharing feature.
  5. Toggle Share With Family on (make sure it’s green).

Limitations

Even though you can enable Family Sharing for individual App Store subscriptions, an option to enable the feature for all App Store subscriptions at once does not exist. This could probably be because of the fact that it’s an opt-in feature for developers and having a list of irregular subscriptions within the Subscriptions tab would simply confuse users.

That brings us to the second, albeit important limitation. Not every app will implement this feature and allow users to enable Family Sharing for its subscriptions. Chances are, your app may never be able to share its subscription with your family as it entirely depends on the developer.

Third, irregularities will emerge. Some apps will support the feature and some won’t, making it confusing for end-users.

Final Thoughts

Now that Apple lets you share subscriptions with your family members, it’s a pretty good option to opt for if you have a large family. For instance, if your family maintains a calendar, now you can pay for a subscription for a calendar app that the entire family can take full advantage of.

The scope of this feature is uncertain. But how exciting it would be if the developer of your favorite app decides to let you share its subscription with your family!