Google Family Plan Redux

I thought about the Family Plan before and didn’t like the idea that you had to associate one credit/debit card for everybody in your family group to use for purchases. I still don’t like that idea, but I guess it makes you think twice about who to include.

Although the card thing kept me away from signing up for the Family Plan, my fiance and I often wanted to share e-books. We both buy out e-books primarily from Google Play, although I sometimes find deals on publisher web sites and download the DRM-free version and upload it to my Play Books account. It’s very easy.

Steps to upload a book to your Play Books account:

      1. download the e-book onto your phone
      2. open it in the Play Books app

Yes, it’s a two-step process.

The first time the Family Plan came up in conversation was when I purchased The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick. He wanted to read it, but since I purchased it on Google Play, which has DRM, there wasn’t an easy (or legal) option for sharing. We figured he would have to buy his own copy in order to read it, which made me feel bad about buying the e-book. I thought about the Family Plan, but both of us were a bit iffy about sharing a credit card to make purchases.

This time around he picked up the e-book of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, which I had read about and thought was right up his alley. I’m also interested in reading it, and again it contains DRM. Ugh! So we discussed the Family Plan again and decided to give it a shot (we were engaged at this point, which helped).

Hoping that the books I purchased previously on Google Play would be included, I did a little research and could only find information on apps and music. I did find out that some apps purchased before you joined the Family Plan would be included (as long as the app developer allowed it to be a part of the family share plan). The same was true with movies. I had a hard time finding anything about books, but I figured the same rules would apply. I will say that music was different. You can only share a Play Music subscription, which was a bummer.

So I signed up for the Family Plan, added my fiance and all our previously purchased books and movies with the family share symbol GSP were available to both of us! We were both thrilled to see all the new reading choices we had. It made up for not being able to share our music. I have to say that it was worth signing up for.

Things to think about while signing up…or after.

  • Do you want everybody in your Family Plan to see everything you read or watch?
    • If you’re the plan manager you can add and remove specific titles from the plan via the Play Books app and tapping on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of any book cover and choosing Remove from Family Library
  • Think about how you pay for books and movies
    • If you don’t use the Family Plan account to make the purchase, it will not show up in the Family Plan. This is a good way to keep your kids or mother from reading your copy of All In with the Duke by Ava March.
  • If you’re the manager, make sure you have to give approval for purchases. This is your credit/debit card the members are using.
  • If you need to change things around, the Family Plan setting are in the Play app, under settings.

Although I had my apprehensions about joining the Google Family Plan, I’m glad I finally jumped in.


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