SWY's technical notes

Relevant mostly to OS X admins

iOS8 Family Sharing with an Apple ID for a child

It’s a happy coincidence that my < 13 year old kid accumilated the savings to buy the iPod Touch he’s wanted right as iOS 8 with Family Sharing hit the market.  Here’s my experience with the process:

1) Upgrade a device of mine to iOS8.  Pretty straightforward process- but always make a backup anyway.

2) In Settings: iCloud, there’s now a new “Set Up Family Sharing…” link2014-09-17_16_09_38



3) Since my kid is under 13, the “Create an Apple ID for a child” option is the right choice:



4) Yep, this seems like exactly what I want:



5) But this isn’t.  I have my own domain. I don’t need a proliferation of email addresses.  Even if email is mostly dead to young people these days, and full of spam, email still isn’t going away.  Oh well, the THOU SHALT USE ICLOUD DOMAIN rule appears to be non-negotiable, so I begrudgingly complied.



6) After the standard, mandatory Security Questions (should I answer for me? For him? Must be me, since he couldn’t yet have a favorite singer in High School), I can enable Ask To Buy.




7) With that, my kid has an Apple ID.  The next day, his iPod Touch arrives, and out of the box, we attempt to authenticate with the new Apple ID.  Being a refurb, and day 1 after iOS 8 release, it ships with iOS7.  I’m not sure if that’s the cause, but when trying to use his new Apple ID, we get the most confusing error dialog I’ve ever received from an Apple product.  And I’ve received a few.


I eventually gave in on trying to authenticate with his Apple ID, it consistently gave the above.  I signed in with my ID, attached to iTunes, and started downloading the iOS 8 update.  Following that install, I signed out, and now it was happy to accept his Apple ID credentials on the first try.


8) With that configured, it was time to see the electronic  “please dad, may I have an app?” conversation.  The Buy button gets a new behavior in this situation:



And promptly over on my device, I see an alert from Family, which links to this page in the App Store:




9) I approve and authenticate to the App Store, and with this, the installation proceeds on his Touch:



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