Family sharing and gifting finally coming soon to Google Play Store

This will catch Google up to Apple, which already offers a similar capability with its App Store and iTunes content.

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Google is close to rolling out a new feature that could make it easy to share apps, games, and more with family members.

According to a teardown of Google Play Store version 5.12, a family library is on the way. This would allow one account holder to create and invite others to their family in order to share apps, games, TV shows, and other content purchased from Google Play.

Apple's App Store already has a similar feature, which is very popular with parents who want to buy apps for use by everyone. 

The code doesn’t specifically indicate what type of controls the master account holder would have. But in the past Google has hinted at kids’ accounts, which would presumably have more restrictions than the parents.

The early look at the code indicates that there will also be a gifting feature, whereby you could purchase an app and gift it to someone else outside the family. This would be useful as a one-time treat you want to send to a friend or someone else not connected to your family hub. 

Why this matters: Google has sought to make Android more family-friendly, with new features like a dedicated family section of games and apps specifically for kids. But no one wants to buy an app multiple times, so a shared family depository is sorely needed so parents don’t feel the urge to jump to iOS with its substantial catalogue of educational apps and family-friendly features.

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