Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on May 19, 2016

Google’s new ‘Family Library’ pinches from Apple’s playbook for shared app purchases

Google’s new ‘Family Library’ pinches from Apple’s playbook for shared app purchases
Nate Swanner
Story by

Nate Swanner

Former Reporter, TNW

TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

Google is taking a page from Apple’s book and letting families share apps.

Discovered in some developer documentation by Android Police, the program — called Family Library — will allow groups of up to six people share access to apps. Developers have been given a date of July 2 to decide if they want older apps to be eligible for the program.

Apps that have been purchased after July 2 will automatically be listed as Family Library apps.

Here’s the full documentation:

When Family Library becomes available to users, up to six family members will be able to share purchased apps on Google Play.

Opt-in previous purchases to Family Library

By default, all paid apps purchased after July 2, 2016 (when the Developer Distribution Agreement update takes effect) will be eligible for Family Library.

To provide a seamless user experience, we suggest you allow users to share purchases made prior to this date as well.

To opt-in previous purchases:

1Sign in to your Google Play Developer Console.

2Select an app.

3Select Pricing & Distribution.

4In the “Family Library” section, select the checkbox.

Users will see whether previous purchases of your app are eligible for Family Library on your store listing page.

App requirements & eligibility

•Once you’ve made previous purchases available for Family Library and submitted your app update in the Developer Console, you can’t opt-out—your selection is permanent.

•Your app doesn’t need to be part of Designed for Families to be included in Family Library.

Oddly, Google’s documentation doesn’t note how a Family Library will be managed. With Apple’s FamilyShare, one person is considered a ‘group leader,’ and manages who is in the group. That person is also the one who is charged for purchases, another factor not disclosed in Google’s documentation.

Also tagged with