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.

Top Rated Comments

edwrap Avatar
7 weeks 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
7 weeks 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
7 weeks ago
Thats great news ... And seems to be enabled by default, at least it was for me
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Santiago Avatar
7 weeks 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
7 weeks 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
6 weeks 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)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...