The free Family Library feature is in addition to the Google Play Music family plan, which allows six people to share a music subscription service for £14.99 a month.
Once set up via an Android device or the web, a family can share purchases and one payment method using separate Google accounts. Purchase approval can also be set up to stop children buying apps or in-app purchases. In the past, families would have to share one Google Play account to achieve similar.
Raj Iyengar, product manager for Google Play, said: “With Family Library, you can choose which items you want to share and which to keep to yourself – for example, I’ll probably keep my collection of comic books in my personal library.
“When you sign up, you’ll select a credit card to share as your family payment method, but your family members will always have the option of buying stuff with their personal credit cards or gift cards.”
Movies, TV shows and books can also be shared with iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad with Google’s apps, and computers and Chromebooks through a web browser.
Apps and games purchased after 7 February this year are automatically eligible, but developers have to opt in to allow prior purchases to be included in the Family Library. Books are only eligible if the publisher has opted into Family Library, while movies and TV shows have to be purchased with the family payment method and rentals are not eligible for inclusion in the Family Library.
Google is not the first to implement a shared family feature across its store. Apple rolled out a similar feature for its iTunes and Apps stores in 2014 with iOS 8, which allowed up to five people to share one payment card and content library, including apps, music, films and TV shows.
Family Library will be rolling out to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and US, starting today.
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