Google Play Family Library launches, enabling shared apps, games, movies, and more

Much like the Play Music family plan, up to six different people can access the same batch of purchased content.

At long last you can bring up to six different individuals together into a single happy Google Play Family.

Google officially debuted its new Family Library on Wednesday, bringing Android up to speed with Apple’s Family Sharing, which has been a longstanding perk of iOS. When you sign up, you’ll be able to select a credit card to share as the family payment method. However, other family members will be able to designate a different payment option or use a gift card instead for specific purchases.

You’ll be able to designate specific items to keep to yourself if you’d rather not share certain films or books with children. Google says there’s a “personal library” option to ensure no one else can download your personal content through the family account. And items that work outside of Android are supported as well, such as Google apps on Chromebooks, and Play Movies and Books that can be accessed on the web or through iOS apps.

Google Product Manager Raj Iyengar says Family Library is rolling out “over the next few days” in the U.S. and a few other select counties, such as Canada, Mexico, the U.K., France, Ireland, and Japan.

The impact on you: This is a helpful perk if you manage multiple Android devices, as you won’t have to re-buy apps or other content for a spouse, partner, or child. It follows the Play Music Family Plan, which gives you six accounts for shared access to Google Play Music and YouTube Red. Given that it just launched we haven’t had a chance to play around with how well it works, but we’ll be sure to share any impressions or helpful tips once all the dust settles.

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Derek Walter

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