Is sharing the next big mobile trend?

From Google Play to iCloud, the major players are making it easier to share content…
Is sharing the next big mobile trend?

It’s good to share…

… and it seems that more companies are starting to agree.

For example, if you’ve got a few mobile entertainment fans in your family, there’s Google Play Family Library - a new free feature that lets you share content purchased from Google Play with your nearest and dearest.

How can I set up Google Play Family Library?

The first thing to do is decide who’s going to be the family manager – in other words, the guy that holds the purse strings (and enters their card details as the family payment method). If you’re happy to take on that responsibility, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Go into Play Store and tap the menu icon in the top left of the screen (that’s those three horizontal bars).
  2. Tap on Account / Family / Sign up for Family Library.
  3. Have a quick read through the introduction, then tap ‘Sign up’ at the bottom.
  4. You’ll then be asked to add your card details. By tapping ‘Continue’ you’ll add your previously purchased items to the library (if they’re eligible).
  5. You can now invite up to five family members to join, as long as they’re aged 13 over and their own Google account.
  6. You’re all set up. When a family member accepts your invitation, you’ll get a confirmation email.

How does Google Play Family Library work?

When you shop in Google Play, keep an eye out for an icon of a house with a heart inside it. This tells you that that the item can be added to your family library.

Apps, games, movies, TV shows and book purchases are all eligible. But you can’t add things like film rentals, purchased music and book rentals.

When you buy an item it’s automatically added to your family library, and your other family members are able to use it. Also, any family member can add an item to the family library – it doesn’t have to be the family manager.

Who else is letting us share?

Netflix hasn’t got an official family sharing plan set up, but the service is designed for sharing. Five different profiles can be created on one account, giving each family member their own personalised watchlist and recommendations.

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, sees account sharing as a good thing. He recently said: “We love people sharing Netflix whether they’re two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.”

Apple Music and Google Play Music both have family plans that let up to six family members share the service for a monthly fee.

All round family entertainment
iCloud Family Sharing on iOS is a free service that lets a family of up to six combine purchases on iBooks, the App Store and iTunes, without having to share login details. It can also be used to share photos and a family calendar to help keep everyone organised. And unlike the Google Play Family Library, it lets under-13s have their own iDs.

If you use any of the above sharing services, let us know what you think. Have they saved you much money? Are there any drawbacks? Would you like to see more mobile sharing services in the future? Drop us a comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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