Google is taking a page from Apple's playbook.
Apple launched a Family Sharing plan for iTunes and the App Store about two years ago, and now Google is doing the same thing with a new plan option called Google Play Family Library. It basically lets up to six different accounts in the same family group share content - such as movies, TV shows, books, and apps - across multiple devices, and it provides the option to pay for that content with a single credit card on the main account.
Here's everything you need to know about Google Play Family Library, including what it is and how it works.
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What is Google Play Family Library?
Google Play Family Library is for families with up to six members. It's a way for those family members to share purchases from Google Play Store. So, when you buy an app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family, across devices. In other words, you can buy a paid app, and then six other people can use it on their preferred devices without having to pay for the app again.
How does Google Play Family Library work?
Open the Play Store app to get started. From there, in the top left, tap Menu Menu > Account Family > Sign up for Family Library. You should then follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Family Library.
Add family members
To add family members to your family group, open the Play Store app and tap Menu > Account > Family > Manage family members > Invite family members. Then, type the email address or phone number of the person you want to invite. As the family manager, you can add or remove people from your family group. You'll also get an email when someone joins your family.
Join a family group
If someone has signed up for Family Library plan and invited you, you'll get an email or text with your invitation. Follow the instructions in the invitation to join the family group. When you join, you can share purchases with anyone in your family and use the family payment method.
Set up a family payment method
When the family manager signs up for Google Play Family Library plan, they can add a family payment method that family members can use to make purchases on Google Play or in-app purchases. The family manager will get an email receipt each time a family member makes a purchase and can turn on purchase approval settings for family members. Google's support page details how to set up your family payment method.
Individual family members can choose to pay with their own card if they like. They can also choose whether or not to share certain content; there’s an on/off toggle for sharing each individual piece of content.
Which devices work with Google Play Family Library?
All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, iOS devices, and the web. This makes it very different from Apple’s Family Sharing plan, as your Google Play content is viewable on more types of devices. Movies and TV shows bought in Google Play will not only work on Android devices, ChromeOS devices, and the web, but also iOS devices like the iPhone or iPad.
How much does Google Play Family Library cost?
Google Play Family Library is free to sign up for and use.
Where is Google Play Family Library available?
Google will begin rolling out Google Play Family Library on 27 July in the US. It’ll also be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and the UK.
Does it replace Google Play Music Family Plan?
No. Google Play Family Library works for every other type of content except for music. The plan is similar to but not the same thing as Google Play Music Family Plan, which launched last year and lets up to six family members stream millions of songs on demand for $14.99 a month.