Apple’s Family Sharing vs. in-app purchases

(Mac) App StoreFamily Sharing is a service from Apple, which allows you and your family to share some purchased content from Apple, like apps from the App Store. Family Sharing is limited by maximum of total 6 members, every member needs his/her own Apple ID. You can set-up your Family Sharing by guide from Apple, just click HERE. You will need OS X Yosemite or later on Macs and iOS 8 or later on iPhones/iPads/iPods touch. How it works? For example, when a parent buy an app from the App Store, other members of Family Sharing can download purchased item for free. Yea, free, it even works for Apple’s expensive Final Cut Pro X. You can download content up to 10 devices per Apple ID, five of which can be computers. But what about in-app purchases? Does it work?

First, we will look what means in-app purchases. For example, we have got an app with ads. Ads are annoying and nobody likes them. That app has option to remove ads for 0.99 USD. These purchases buyable directly in the apps are in-app purchases. You can remove ads, get more features or extra gold in games, etc. When you restore your Apple device, you can restore purchased items for free, so no worries. But question is: in-app purchases vs. Family Sharing – how it works?

Sadly, it does not work. When you want to download Family Sharing-enabled app from the App Store, which was downloaded by other member of Family Sharing, you can do it for free. But in-app purchases do not count, you have to buy it for yorself.

You can share these items:

  • music, movies, TV shows from the iTunes Store
  • books from the iBooks Store
  • most apps from the App Store
  • Apple Music Family membership
  • iCloud storage plan (200 GB and 2 TB plans only)

You can’t share these items:

  • songs added to iTunes Match that weren’t purchased from the iTunes Store
  • non-family (individual and student) Apple Music membership and other subscriptions like magazines and newspapers
  • in-app purchases
  • items that are no longer available on the iTunes Store
  • hidden purchases (learn more)
  • some apps from the App Store

Extra tip: some apps got free lite version with in-app purchases, which will turn lite version app to full version, and native paid full version. In this case, download full version, so other members of Family Sharing can get full version for free. If you want to try app before purchasing a full version, just download free lite version and if you like it, then delete it and download native paid app. After this, all members of Family Sharing will be able to get full version for free.

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