Google Play's family share plan finally catching up to Apple

Google's new Family Library will let you share your account with up to six people, just like Apple's Family Sharing plan from 2014.

Brittany Vincent
Brittany Vincent is a freelance social-media producer at CNET.
Brittany Vincent
2 min read

Google Play's latest feature will make it simple for families to get in on the fun.


How many times have you downloaded an addictive new game on your favorite Android device only to have someone else hog your phone or tablet to play it?

To fix that, Google introduced a new plan it'll soon launch, called Google Play Family Library, which lets up to six people share a single Google Play account. Sounds a lot like Apple's Family Sharing plan from 2014, doesn't it? Though it trailed Apple on the concept, Google started experimenting with family groups this past December with its Google Play Music family plan, so it's great to see the company expand the program to apps and more.

It works like this. Everyone in the group will be able to access every single app, video and book that's available to the account holder. If you decide to let the kids run wild on your media collection, you can even remove specific titles from the library to keep it more kid-friendly, or hide certain artists you might not want to share with others (your little Tay Tay secret is safe).

You don't have to pay extra to sign up for the Google Play Family Library, but you will need a credit card saved to the account for future purchases. To avoid any financial snafus that might come with multiple account users (like the kiddos spending all your dough on Pokemon Go upgrades), Google will send a receipt so there aren't any unpleasant (or expensive) surprises.

The Google Play Family Library plan will roll out to users later this month in various countries across the world. Looks like it's time to start thinking about who in your family makes the cut.

Correction, 12:22 p.m. PT: This story has been corrected to remove an incorrect list of countries included in the rollout, based on reporting originally conducted by TechRadar.