iOS 11’s Instructions for Stopping Family Sharing Plan: Transfer Your Kid to Another Family

1 minute read
| News

Apple had some interesting advice for our own Adam Christianson when he tried removing one of his children from his iCloud family sharing plan. That advice? He was going to have to transfer his kid to another family.

“It’s my fault, really,” Mr. Christianson said. “Maybe I should have read the Terms of Service a bit more closely before enabling Family Sharing.”

Ouch. While true, it still seems a bit drastic. I mean, sure, our iPhones, iPads and Macs sometimes feel like family members, but would Adam Christianson ditch his kid? And is that even legal?

Family Sharing Settings in iOS 11

Screenshot from iOS 11 Family Sharing Settings

OK, we’re kidding. Mostly. And Apple telling us to transfer a kid to another family is clearly just a semantic lapse. But, there’s a serious heart to this, too. We’ve been talking about the attention to detail that’s feels absent from Apple these days, and this is a sharp example. Someone at Apple should have caught this, and the text should read “transfer Kevin to another family sharing plan.”

If you tap through to the Learn more… link, there’s an explanation that the transfer requirement only applies to children in a family sharing plan who are under 13.

Mind you, this story has a happy ending. After much discussion in the family and consultation with the TMO brain trust, Kevin was retained in the family and remains a happy Christianson.

5 Comments Add a comment

  1. Jamie

    Great piece, and I love what it sheds light on. It’s true: Apple’s attention to detail used to be damned near-surgical, whereas these days, it’s all pretty hit or miss (particularly their documentation!). I don’t judge anyone for thinking or liking what they do, but the modern Apple is not the company I fell in love with, and it’s sad to me. They still make great products, and their respect for user privacy is unparalleled, but nevertheless -> 🙁

    • wab95

      John:

      I did play with the calculator to test this. It took about four tries, but I did get it to fail as described. The timing of the keystrokes appeared to matter. This should be easy enough for Apple to fix.

  2. Old UNIX Guy

    Yet another example…

    I was walking to the car yesterday afternoon listening to a podcast and the low power mode dialog popped up suddenly. Said I was at 8% … dropped to 1% by the time I got to the car.

    As soon as I got to the car I plugged my phone into the charger and … it was at 33%.

    And don’t even get me started about how they rendered the Podcasts app useless in iOS 11. Used it for forever … today I’m using Overcast.

  3. wab95

    I confess, there have been occasions during which I mightn’t have minded transferring one my kids to another family, at least for a few hours. I suspect that that is not the service on offer by Apple, however.

    On a more serious note, I can think of several reasons why a family might wish to remove a minor child from family sharing altogether. Apple’s response seems to suggest that this is not an option, although here again, I suspect that not to be the case.

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