Family Sharing - is it useful?

Dear all,

we are a family of five, where the kids are 1, 5 and 8.
We are using multiple Apple Devices, and the two big kids have their “own” iPads… We are all using the same Apple ID - all my wife and as I haven’t cracked the nut fully yet with same photo library, calendar etc.
My question is not so much related to my wife and I, but more regarding the kids - are their any real advantages in setting them up with separate Apple ID and utilizing family sharing compared to just keep running the same Apple ID for all…-

Hope you can help - and if you have a “golden argument” as to my Wife and I also needs separate Apple ID’s then I’m naturally interested in hearing this also :slight_smile:

thanks in advance

I would highly recommend setting everyone up with Family Sharing, here’s some advantages:

  • No accidental iMessage or FaceTime crossover - or SMS going to other devices. Which means the kids can’t mark something as read before you get to it.
  • Everyone can communicate with one another via iMessage, so the kids can send you silly selfies and so on - more photos for you and your wife :wink:
  • They can request permission to purchase something, and you confirm from your device - no typing in the the password on their iPad.
  • Screen time is per Apple ID, so you can limit how many hours of games the children can play per week/month - or just see what the split is. With their current ages their usage might not be a problem, but you may want this in the future.
  • When they get older and get their own phones (maybe even iPhones) then they can keep all of their data, their files, separate from your stuff. Right now this is less of an issue, but in the future you’ll want it.
  • Every Apple ID gets 5GB storage space for backups, right now that’s probably enough for the kids iPads - and in the future you can get the 200GB or larger plan to share with everyone (each ID gets their own flexible container inside of the 200GB).
  • At some point the kids will want their own Apple IDs, if you do it now then the work is done, and you don’t have to unpick as much stuff and transfer it around :slight_smile:

For you and your wife it depends on how your usage is, much of the above applies, but also documents don’t get mixed up in iCloud, you don’t have to have each other’s contacts and calendars on your devices (you can still share calendars easily), and if you get more devices it’s easier to personalise it to you. :slight_smile:


And all the devices get automatically added to Find My Phone. Makes it really helpful to find those stuck in a couch cushion…

I would really recommend family sharing with kids! But the basic idea is: get everyone (even your wife) on a personal apple-id!!

Once your kids are old enough to use the different social media networks and you dont have everyone on their own apple id your iphoto library is going to be swamped with silly pics, selfies, internet memes, silly videos etc.

And about the find my friends mentioned earlier: once they have their own iphones you’ll be able to find them anywhere as long as they have their phones on. Or find their devices when they’ve left them somewhere.

I have my own family on family sharing, a 2Tb icloud plan a 1password family plan, and an family plan.

I administer the devices through apple configurator 2, and the 1password through the console.
Works like a charm :slight_smile:

Added bonus: with iOS 12 I get screentime reports for their devices and get to set limits on their app usage from the family sharing interface.