Secrets Of Organized And Connected Families

By Frederique Bros
on 24 March 2015

My definition of a connected family is a family with at least 4 members, mum, dad and two kids, all of them browsing the Internet. Imagine each of them have an Apple iPhone, plus a Mac (or two) at home besides a couple of iPad and iPod. If you are a mum or a dad I’m sure you feel a bit (or a lot) overwhelmed when it comes to manage the budget spent on apps, games, music or e-books. Am I right?

Do not panic, Apple created Family Sharing – the family uses the same credit card and only the parents approve kid’s spending straight from the parent’s device. Easily share photos, a family calendar and more, to help keep everyone connected.

Secrets Of Organized And Connected Families

How Does it Work

– It’s a free Apple tool in iCloud

– Mum or Dad (the organiser) can invite up to five family members and agrees to pay for any iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases

– Once family members join, the features of Family Sharing are set up on everyone’s devices automatically

– Each family member has a separate iTunes account linked to the same credit card

– All new iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases initiated by members will be billed to the family organiser’s account

– The organiser can still call the shots. Just turn on Ask to Buy for children in the family. When a child initiates a purchase, an alert is sent to the organiser, who can review the download and approve or decline it right there on the organiser’s device. This applies to both purchases and free downloads.

Family Photo Album

Now collecting and sharing family memories is easier and more fun. When Family Sharing is turned on, a shared album is set up automatically in the Photos app on all family members’ devices. Then everyone can add photos, videos and comments to the album and be notified when something new is added.

Keep Track Of Where Everybody Is

When you join a Family Sharing group, you can start sharing your location with the rest of the family automatically. If you’re running late to a restaurant or need to know if your kid made it to band practice, just use Find My Friends or the Messages app on iOS 8 to keep tabs on each other. If you need privacy, you can temporarily stop sharing your location by disabling the Share My Location switch in iCloud settings.

Find Everybody’s Devices

With Family Sharing and Find My iPhone, any family member can help locate another member’s missing device. Their devices appear in a single list in the Find My iPhone app. So it’s easier than ever to track down a misplaced or stolen iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Parental Control

Not only mum or Dad can manage the kids spending using the same credit card account (by turning ‘Ask To Buy’ on the kids’ devices) but they can as well limit the content kids have access to on their devices through Restrictions on an iOS device or parental controls in OS X and iTunes.

For example it can be very useful for explicit lyrics on some songs, or you can also select only PG movies or setting up some ‘not allowed’ websites when the kids are browsing the Internet.

Keeping The Family Organized

Family Sharing creates a family calendar where everyone can view, add, or change events and appointments, and they can also get an alert when something changes. And anyone can use the Reminders app to send time or location reminders to the family. So when it’s photo day, pizza night or just a trip to the beach, everyone’s in the know.

Family Sharing is a new way to bring harmony to your family’s digital life. Get it today and enjoy the multiple options offered to keep your family closer.

Image: Apple
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