One interesting new feature that comes with Apple’ new iOS 8 is the introduction of Family Sharing. Family Sharing lets you share your purchases like books, apps, and music among six people in your family without sharing an iTunes account. So, for example, your kid can try to buy an app using the family member’s iPad, and you can verify the purchase from the iPhone. It also means that if you’ve already paid for a book on your iPhone, your partner doesn’t need to buy the book or borrow your device to read it.

(See also: How to download and install iOS 8 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch)

This is a big step forward, because before, you had to share the same Apple ID across devices to get them to share content like this. That’ fine if you want to maintain a seamless experience between your iPhone and iPad, but it can quickly become a hassle when multiple family members are using iOS devices.

So how does Family Sharing work? It turns out, easy.

The first thing you need to do is set it up on different devices in your home. First, the family organizer (an adult in the family who is in charge of the network) invites other members and agrees to pay for any purchases made by members from their iTunes accounts.

(See also: How to upgrade when iOS 8 requires GB storage and cannot be installed)

After doing this, family members can accept Family Sharing invitations from their devices while signed in to their iCloud accounts. Family Sharing is set up automatically once family members join. This is how you would set it up:

  1. To start the process, you need to go to Settings > iCloudthen tap Set up Home Sharing…
  2. On the next screen, click the start.
  3. To continue using your signed-in iTunes account, click Continue, or click use a different ID text at the bottom of the screen to make changes to your account.
  4. The next screen confirms the details of Family Sharing, followed by a screen to confirm your payment details.according to continue twice.
  5. You can then choose to share your location with family on any share your locationor not nowdepending on your preference.
  6. Next, click the add family member.
  7. Now, enter a family member’ email address and click Next. Confirm your iTunes ID and tap continue. This will send invitations to your family members to join.
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This is a very useful solution if you want to share downloads with your spouse.To download these apps, music or books, go to bought For each store section, you should see a section labeled home purchase. Tap a family member’ name to view their iTunes downloads, then tap the cloud icon next to the app you want to download.

A new stream called Family is also automatically created in the Photos app, to which each family member can contribute photos, videos, and comments. Likewise, shared calendars are created in the Calendar app on each person’ device.

(See also: 10 New iOS 8 Features Showcased at WWDC)

When a family member tries to buy anything, the family organizer pays for it, and the whole group can download the app. With Family Sharing disabled, those items will be associated with the account of the person who bought them—even if the family organizer paid for them.

For parents, there is another very useful function called ask to buy. The family organizer can turn on ask to buy For family members under the of 18, any purchase or even download request requires approval. When a purchase or download is initiated, a notification is sent to the family organizer, who can then choose whether to allow it immediately. This way, you give your kids the to explore and find apps on their own, while making sure the content is appropriate and preventing them from accidentally spending too much money.

Overall, these new features sound great, and they’re fairly easy to set up. There are a few caveats you should be aware of – for one thing, you can only be part of one family group at a time. Second, you can only change homes no more than twice a year. Also, all family members must be on the same iTunes store – if you are on the Indian iTunes store, you cannot have family members on the US iTunes store. Finally, each account can download music, movies, TV shows and books to up to 10 devices, up to 5 of which can be computers.

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If you’re having trouble using Home Sharing, Apple’ help have some common problems and solutions.

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...