Apple has made some small changes to the App Store that allow shoppers to see whether the apps they’re buying will be compatible with Family Sharing in iOS 8. The small notices appear in the “Information” section that sits beneath an app’s description.
Family Sharing is one of the lesser talked about features in iOS 8, and yet it could well be one of the most significant for a vast number of users. It allows up to six people to share things like photos, calendars, and location data — and more importantly, purchases they’ve made in the App Store, iTunes, and the iBookstore.
That means that if you buy an app, a book, or a movie, your wife or your son or your parents can access them as well without paying for them again. Not everything Apple sells is eligible for Family Sharing, however, so the Cupertino company has made some changes to help you establish what is and what isn’t.
The changes appear to be present in the App Store only for now, but we expect them to reach iTunes and the iBookstore as well before iOS 8 makes its public debut this fall. To find the Family Sharing details, just scroll down past an app’s screenshots and description to the “Information” section, and it should be sitting just beneath “Compatibility.”
Apps that are compatible simply read “Yes,” while those that aren’t read “Not Available.” Others are compatible, but only if they’re purchased after a certain date. It’s up to app developers — not Apple — to decide whether they want their titles to be shareable or not.
I don’t think Family Sharing compatibility will make a massive difference to the purchasing decisions of most users; I feel most people are likely to buy apps they want regardless of whether they’re shareable. But it will be nice to see this information in advance to save any surprises later.