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Google Family Library goes live this summer, will allow families to share Google Play purchases

TechCrunch TechCrunch 19/05/2016 Sarah Perez

Apple device owners in the same family can share content like music, videos, e-books and apps through iCloud’s Family Sharing. Now, it appears that Android owners will have a similar option. Just ahead of Google’s keynote at its I/O developer conference yesterday, the company updated developer documentation with new details about a feature called Family Library, which will allow up to six family members share Google Play Store purchases with each other.

The documentation change was first spotted by Android Police, which noted that the feature had been previously spotted while in development.

According to Google’s documentation, Family Library will become available on July 2, 2016, meaning that all paid apps purchased after that date will become eligible for sharing with other members through this new feature.

Developers are now being encouraged to update their apps to support family sharing, which is as simple as launching the Developer Console, heading into the Pricing & Distribution section, then checking a checkbox to enable Family Library.

While the documentation only details how developers can enable the feature, previous teardowns performed by Android Police had uncovered additional functionality.

As with Apple’s Family Sharing, it appears that Family Library will also support sharing books, music and videos. There will be some restrictions on sharing, the blog pointed out – for example, videos will only be able to be streamed on one device at a time, it claims.

Family Library also involves allowing a family group to share one payment method, and lets parents invite others and restrict purchases by requiring download approval.

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