Apple Confirms Family Sharing for In-App Purchases and Subscriptions is Now Available

Apple yesterday quietly expanded its Family Sharing App Store functionality, adding a new App Store toggle that allows family members to share in-app subscriptions with one another. Apple today confirmed that the functionality has now rolled out and that it's also applicable to in-app purchases.

share new subscriptions family sharing
In an update for developers, Apple says that it's now possible for them to enable Family Sharing for auto-renewable subscriptions and non-consumable in-app purchases, allowing all members of a family group to enjoy the benefits of these features.

You can now enable Family Sharing for auto-renewable subscriptions and non-consumable in-app purchases, allowing users to share their purchases with up to five family members. Family Sharing provides a streamlined, convenient user experience and can help you attract subscribers, encourage paid subscriptions, increase user engagement, and improve retention. Sales and Trends reports will be updated soon to help you understand the performance of family subscriptions.

Non-consumable in-app purchases include in-app purchases that unlock app features rather than those that use coins or other currency to purchase expendable in-app or in-game items.

Apple first announced these subscription and in-app purchase sharing options in June, and said that the functionality would come in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur.

Developers can choose to implement Family Sharing for in-app purchases or subscriptions or can opt to require each member of the family to subscribe separately or make separate purchases.

Prior to now, if one member of a family purchased an app that included a subscription benefit or an app feature that was unlocked via an in-app purchase, there was no built-in way for those features to be shared with other family members.

The Settings section of the ‌App Store‌ now has a "Share New Subscriptions" feature that's enabled automatically for people who use Family Sharing. To access in-app purchases from an app purchased by another family member, the app should be downloaded from the family member's purchased history. These features will only be available for apps where developers have enabled Family Sharing functionality.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Use Same Rear Chassis as iPhone 16

Friday July 19, 2024 7:16 am PDT by
Apple will adopt the same rear chassis manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 that it is using for the upcoming standard iPhone 16, claims a new rumor coming out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker "Fixed Focus Digital," the backplate manufacturing process for the iPhone SE 4 is "exactly the same" as the standard model in Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup, which is expected to...
New MacBook Pros Launching Tomorrow With These 4 New Features 2

M5 MacBook Models to Use New Compact Camera Module in 2025

Wednesday July 17, 2024 2:58 am PDT by
Apple in 2025 will take on a new compact camera module (CCM) supplier for future MacBook models powered by its next-generation M5 chip, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Writing in his latest investor note on unny-opticals-2025-business-momentum-to-benefit-509819818c2a">Medium, Kuo said Apple will turn to Sunny Optical for the CCM in its M5 MacBooks. The Chinese optical lens company...
tinypod apple watch

TinyPod Turns Your Apple Watch Into an iPod

Wednesday July 17, 2024 3:18 pm PDT by
If you have an old Apple Watch and you're not sure what to do with it, a new product called TinyPod might be the answer. Priced at $79, the TinyPod is a silicone case with a built-in scroll wheel that houses the Apple Watch chassis. When an Apple Watch is placed inside the TinyPod, the click wheel on the case is able to be used to scroll through the Apple Watch interface. The feature works...
iphone 14 lineup

Cellebrite Unable to Unlock iPhones on iOS 17.4 or Later, Leak Reveals

Thursday July 18, 2024 4:18 am PDT by
Israel-based mobile forensics company Cellebrite is unable to unlock iPhones running iOS 17.4 or later, according to leaked documents verified by 404 Media. The documents provide a rare glimpse into the capabilities of the company's mobile forensics tools and highlight the ongoing security improvements in Apple's latest devices. The leaked "Cellebrite iOS Support Matrix" obtained by 404 Media...
Apple Watch Series 9

2024 Apple Watch Lineup: Key Changes We're Expecting

Tuesday July 16, 2024 7:59 am PDT by
Apple is seemingly planning a rework of the Apple Watch lineup for 2024, according to a range of reports from over the past year. Here's everything we know so far. Apple is expected to continue to offer three different Apple Watch models in five casing sizes, but the various display sizes will allegedly grow by up to 12% and the casings will get taller. Based on all of the latest rumors,...

Top Rated Comments

edwrap Avatar
47 months ago
FYI - For free apps with IAP unlocks (like Infuse), you‘ll need to download the free app from the family purchases list of the user that bought the IAP.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigboy29 Avatar
47 months ago
If I understand this correctly, what Apple enabled by default is that you share subscriptions with family.... but developers still need to enable this sharing in their apps. In other words - if developers would rather not share subscriptions with family, they do not need to implement this sharing, and the fact that it is enabled in App sore will not matter.

Great that this is becoming a possibility, though, but I wonder how many will go for it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
47 months ago
Thats great news ... And seems to be enabled by default, at least it was for me
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Santiago Avatar
47 months ago

While Apple calls them "NON-Consumable" In-App Purchases (IAPs), I believe a better label would have been "One-Time-Purchase," OR simply combine the two like this:

... NON-Consumable (i.e., One-Time-Purchase) ...
I wish Apple made a bigger distinction between these two on the App Store, like they do with free vs paid. I'm fine with one-time-purchases for content, but want nothing to do with apps full of consumable purchases. Right now, you're stuck with having to scroll down to In-App Purchases and see what's listed there.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
47 months ago

FYI - For free apps with IAP unlocks (like Infuse), you‘ll need to download the free app from the family purchases list of the user that bought the IAP.
Thanks for the tip. Added that info to the article too.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarthDale Avatar
47 months ago

If I understand this correctly, what Apple enabled by default is that you share subscriptions with family.... but developers still need to enable this sharing in their apps. In other words - if developers would rather not share subscriptions with family, they do not need to implement this sharing, and the fact that it is enabled in App sore will not matter.

Great that this is becoming a possibility, though, but I wonder how many will go for it.
I’m am doubtful ? developers will do this. What is the incentive? Once Apple stated the IAP process and it was not available to the family share I stopped buying anything that had an IAP subscription and looked for alternate products.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)