Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Family Sharing and FaceTime

I have to admit that when I first heard about this “Family Sharing” feature (new to iOS 8), I had quickly dismissed it as nothing more than a gimmick. However, after giving it a chance, I had to agree that it’s indeed a good feature and one that deserves a mention.

Family Sharing consists of a few things which you could read about it here. The feature that I use most is the family photo album where we share photos of family moments and our new addition that I would refer to as The Mini (sorry, Apple, I am not referring to your Mac here). It’s way easier than Airdrop because we don’t always keep our wifi and bluetooth on and we’re not always next to each other. It’s a nice touch that we can “Like” a photo and put comments in them… just like that popular social media app that has billions of users but private enough for just the few of us.

The next portion of Family Sharing that I might be… most likely be using would be apps, songs and (eventually?) movies sharing. Unfortunately, these are dependent on the publishers if they enable their software and media for sharing (if they don’t I’d just say they are plain greedy, but I suppose there is this thing called business sense, too).

It’s also nice to have location sharing - not so much for spying on your family members but more to knowing they are safe, particularly if you have kids, I suppose.

Besides that, there's FaceTime which I had no use for until recently. Work wise I could only use it with people that have iOS devices so not very useful there because a lot are Android users. But for family use, it's invaluable when I'm out of town! It's the next best thing to being there. I've installed and removed Skype because not many people in my circle use it. I've installed Hangouts but I've never opened the app before...

There you go, Family Sharing and FaceTime are positive steps forward. Apple, please continue improving the experience factor!

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