Share apps and iTunes purchases in a Family
The Ask To Buy option allows you to stop young children from making unsuitable purchases - such as violent action games, or blood-spattered episodes of Game Of Thrones. However, any purchases made by one member of the family group can be shared with everyone else in the group, which means that purchases made by an adult could still be seen by a child. If you want to prevent this then you'll need to use the Restrictions settings on your child's personal iOS device to set age limits for video, games and other material.
It's also possible to review the purchases made by members of your family group to make sure that nothing unsuitable gets through accidentally. If you tap the More button at the bottom of the screen in the iTunes Store app you'll see an option to view all your purchases, including those made by other members of your family group.
Family sharing: shared Photos and Calendars
Family Sharing isn't just about spending money on the iTunes Store. When you set up your family group you automatically create a new photo album that is shared by everyone on the group. All group members can upload and share photos, and there's an option to receive a notification whenever other people in the group upload photos too. Most Family Sharing features require iOS 8, but the photo-sharing features work on iOS 7 as well, so kids with older iPads and iPod Touch models can still share photos without you needing to buy a new device that can handle iOS 8.
You can also create a shared calendar that works in a similar fashion, allowing family members to add events and receive notifications for birthdays, appointments and other events. The Reminders app is included here too, so you can send a quick reminder to get some milk without needing to use the full-blown Calendar app.
Family sharing: track locations
Your kids will no doubt be thrilled to hear that Family Sharing allows you to keep track of their movements as well. Each person that joins the family group has the option of sharing their location information with the rest of the group.
This location information can be found in a number of different apps, including Find My Friends and Messages, as well as in Find My iPhone in case anyone loses a device while they're out and about.
You can turn this option on or off whenever you want, so that's something that you'll need to discuss with your kids. However, for younger children, it is possible to lock the settings for Location Services, using the password-protected Restrictions settings that we've looked at before. And even if a family member chooses not to share their precise location information, it's still possible to activate a special Lost Mode on iOS devices that can lock the device to protect your personal information.
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