Google Play Family Library. You might be thinking to yourself, “What’s that then?”. The short answer is it’s an incredibly easy and innovative way for Android users to enjoy and share games, apps, movies and books that have been purchased by someone in the family.
I know, you want a more in-depth look into what Google Play Family Library is. As mentioned above, the basic premise is that members of the ‘family’ can access content which has been purchased before. First of all you’ll need to sign up to become a member of the Google Play Family Library, with each family being able to consist of up-to 6 members. I’ll explain more about how you use it a bit further on.
So once you’ve signed up, you and the other members of your party can access and download tons of content that has been purchased by one of the members. For example, if you spent $4.99 on an amazing adventure game, the other members would be able to download it for free because they are part of the family group.
The same principle applies to apps, books, movies and TV shows. Google Music on the other hand is exempt from the sharing rules, and a standard membership is still necessary to access this.
So, how does it work?
Before you can do anything, you’ll need to sign up. To do this simply go to this link on your Android device or on a laptop or desktop. Then you just need to tap the “sign up” button and follow the on-screen instructions.
There are a couple of rules, for example all members of the family must live within the same country, so you can’t have one person from the UK, another from the US, two from Spain and one from Australia.
You’ll be asked to choose whether you want all of your apps to be available for your members to download immediately, or you can opt to manually select the ones which you’ve purchased and want others to be able to see and access. Unless you have certain apps that you’d rather keep hidden and private, choosing to make them all available is a lot easier than sifting through every single app you have ever purchased.
You’ll also need to decide on the payment methods going forward. You can set one main user whose card will be charged if any purchases are made within the group, although they can also use their own cards or use gift cards. You can also add settings so that the main payment user has to give permission before their card is charged, which is definitely worthwhile if you don’t want to get excessive charges to your account.
Once you’ve signed up and have some members, apps and games on the Play Store will start displaying a little toggle button which says “Family Library”. You just need to toggle this one way or the other to determine whether you want the app to be available in the family library or not.
To manage the members of your group, simply swipe the menu out from the left-hand side of the screen, tap “Account” —> “Family” —> “Manage Family Members”
And there you have it. What it is and how to use it. The Google Play Family Library is a great tool and welcomed feature which helps users enjoy gaming, watch shows and save money through a scheme which allows all users to share.