Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell for Macworld

How Apple could improve Family Sharing

The Apple ID system, built somewhat haphazardly via .Mac and the iTunes Store, never really fit with the reality of complicated human life. Husbands and wives, parents and children, partners of all kinds found themselves sharing Apple IDs in order to avoid buying duplicates of every app and song and video in order to distribute them among multiple devices in a household.

Apple’s solution, when it arrived a couple of years ago with iOS 8, showed a lot of potential. Like the webpage says, “Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts.” I’ve been using Family Sharing since it launched, and it’s got a whole lot of potential. My kids now have their own Apple IDs, and I approve their app purchases-plus they have access to all the apps my wife and I have purchased.

That said, Family Sharing feels very much like a version 1.0, a first crack at the idea that people with their own Apple IDs also have intermingled real lives that should probably be intermingled digitally. Nearly two years after the release of iOS 8, however, not a whole lot has changed in the realm of family sharing. And it’s got some glaring deficiencies that really need to be addressed.

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