iOS 8 is a big step forward for Families & Digital Parents

Attention Digital Parents! You’re going to love this one.

Right now, there are a few problems for digital parents and their connected families. From difficulties with sharing the things you’re doing and love, to managing apps, music and TV shows purchased on different people’s accounts, digital parents can often get overwhelmed trying to manage it all!

With iOS 8, coming to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch this fall, Apple is hoping to make things a little bit easier.

Sharing all that digital “stuff”

One family member buys a TV show, another buys a movie, a third buys an album. But what if they all bought these on their own accounts—when you take the “family iPad” on vacation, do you have access to all of your family’s digital “stuff”?

Today the answer is no, but with Family Sharing no matter which family member buys something from Apple, that content can be seamlessly shared with all your family members. Now you can buy something once and all of the kids will get it!

For now, this feature is limited to 6 family members—for most families this will feel just right. While there’s certainly some potential for people to try and use this feature to share their digital goods with non-family members, since all the accounts connected have to share a credit card you should really think twice about that!

ios 8 permission to purchase

“Mommy, can I have this?”

Raise your hands: how many parents have been hit with a huge credit card bill because a kid went wild with in-app-purchases or buying games? While Apple has features to limit that behavior now, it’s still a hassle when you’re trying to manage your own iPhone and your child’s as well.

Now, to make things a bit easier, Apple has added a way for kids to digitally “ask permission” to buy things. This way, they can have their own account, but it’s tied to your credit card and your children can’t make any purchases unless you explicitly authorize them, which you can do right on your own device from anywhere.

For parents of course, this might mean a new headache. Instead of having to ask you in person to enter your password, now your kids will be able to nag you digitally they’re trying to get you to buy them “just one more” pack of lives in Candy Crush. I expect this to be a new form of notification you’ll wish you could mute when Apple releases iOS 8 this fall.