Sharing paid iPhone apps with family (or close friends)

Apparently, you can share paid apps with up to 5 family and friends! I am just showing the technical feasibility, so I'm going to ignore all IP-related comments. Do this at your own risk.

How does this work?

The core theory of this is:
  • One computer can be owned by many people (iTune store accounts).
  • One account can own (be authorized to use) up to 5 computers.
  • If an acount has previously paid for an application, you can re-download it for free from the iTunes store.
  • Once a computer is authorized for a particular iTunes account, you can synchronize any app on any iPhone that is purchased by that account.
  • You can have apps purchased by different accounts on the same computer / iPhone 
So assuming you, your father, and your sister all have iPhones. You have a computer each in which you keep your own individual music, apps, etc. Just do this:
  1. On all the computers, under the Store menu in iTunes, select Authorize Computer.
  2. Do step 1 for each of your accounts, i.e. authorize the computer using your dad's account, yours, and your sister's. 
  3. That's it!
So how are the apps shared? They aren't shared automatically. In fact, there's no way you can tell what apps your sister has bought unless you ask her. But if there is a certain app you know she bought that you want on your iPhone, just log in using her account on your iTunes Store on your computer (or on your iPhone), and just download the app again. You'll see a message that you can download the app for free since you (your sister's account, actually) have already purchased it. 

And because your computer is authorized to synchronize apps from all 3 accounts, they'll sync across to your iPhone (or computer, if you did this on your iPhone) just fine :)

Oh, and if you already have 5 computers authorized and you can't do so anymore, you can find out how to reset (deauthorize all computers) them here

Have fun!

Original post at garry blogs

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