Google Play's getting in on the Family Sharing business

If you game on PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4, you may or may not know that it’s possible on all of those platforms to share your digital games. Each of the systems has some sort of family sharing, allowing you to share the games you buy with others. Some, admittedly, are a little more complicated and troublesome than others, but the net effects is the same.

And now it looks like Google is getting on Family sharing. Announced yesterday, Google’s Play services will allow Android users to share all purchases with up to five family members. That’s games, apps, books, videos the works. Buy it once, and your whole family has access. iOS users can enjoy the same, but limited to TV shows, movies and books.

Says the Google blog:

“When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family—across devices—with no additional sign-up fee. …All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.”

Buying erotic fan fiction – or worse, episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – and don’t want your kids to see what a depraved human being you are? No worries – as you can choose what gets shared and what doesn’t.

“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. Flexibility is also built into your purchasing options. 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. And for your younger family members, you’ll have the option to approve each of their purchases.”

The service is rolling out slowly, and will start off in Brazil, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, United States and the United Kingdom, hopefully coming to us in the near future.

This doesn’t include Google Play Music family sharing, which is its own service, allowing you to give your entire family the gift of music for a reduced price. That’s something that also has yet to launch in South Africa.