At the bottom of today’s post from Google on the new features coming soon to Google Play, there is a brief reference to a change that will allow family members to share paid apps. Why Google didn’t think this major change was worthy of a bigger announcement is beyond me, so we’re going to take a minute to make sure you know about it.
On July 2, every app you buy will (by default unless the developer decides not to participate) become a part of your family group, which means everyone in that group can share use of that paid for app. In other words, your family will only have to buy certain apps one time for all to use.
That’s pretty cool, right?
Through a Google Support page talking about the upcoming change and in the new developer distribution agreement, we are starting to get an understanding of exactly how this will work.
According to Google, developers can opt-in to family sharing with the tick of a box, but do not have to. If they do, though, the change is permanent and can’t be taken back. They are also recommending that developers allow previous purchases of apps made prior to July 2 be included in family sharing. The new developer distribution agreement makes note of exclusions for sharing, which include in-app purchases and subscriptions. However, straight up app purchases can be shared at “reasonable limits designed to prevent abuse.”
Now, it’s up to developers to decide if they want to participate.