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Apple’s “Ask To Buy”: What Parents Need To Know

Controlling what apps your child uses is an important part of modern parenting. For those families where both parents and kids are using Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, & iPod) Apple has provided a feature called “Ask to Buy”!

Let us take a look at this very useful feature!

Remember:

  • An Apple ID is required for each person you wish to add to “Apple Family” and they must be signed into iCloud and iTunes
  • Have an iOS device with iOS 8 or later, or a Mac computer running YOSEMITE or later.
  • Android or Windows Phone users cannot be part or an Apple family

Ask to Buy is part of Apple’s Family Sharing feature. Before you can set up Ask to Buy you first have to create your Apple Family. Follow these instructions, here to set up Family sharing.

Children under 13 years of age who are added to Family Sharing are set up automatically with the Ask to Buy. Add children under 18, but over 13, and you will be asked if you wish to activate Ask to Buy for their account.

How It Works

Once set up, you will have approval over the apps your child can install, even FREE apps. When your child tries to purchase/install an app they will get a window asking if they wish to request permission from their parent.

Clicking ASK then sends a request to the parent’s device. A notification pops up stating that you have a “Request from __(Child’s_Name)____”. Tap the notification. That takes you to a new screen showing the app’s page in the App Store, along with DECLINE and APPROVE in the top two corners.

Always review this page. Make sure that:

  • The app is appropriate for the child’s age. (Note that SCREEN TIME can impose age limits on apps).
  • The function of the app, even if appropriate for the child’s age, meets with your approval.

See it in action in the video, below.

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