My kids received the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet as a gift. I'd like to be able to purchase apps from one account and share them between the various users on the tablet.

Some articles about the topic indicate adding a different user to the play store, but I see no such functionality in Android 4.4 KitKat.

Is there a way to share apps between users?

migrated from superuser.com Dec 30 '13 at 9:56

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One alternative is "Multi-User App Share", which is available from the Play Store.

  • You can share an installed app with other users.
  • Data from the app will not be shared.
  • Shared paid apps will most likely not be validated when used, provided your tablet has a network connection.
  • You will need root to be able to do this.
  • What are the effects of a shared paid app not being "validated?" – Feckmore Dec 29 '13 at 19:12
  • @Feckmore If the paid app implements Google's method of app license verification, it could mean that the app will not work. I have tested at least one paid game myself, but I do not know if it uses the license verification. – Thor Dec 29 '13 at 19:13
  • I've used this for over a year and it works pretty well. I can buy kid's and spouse's apps all from one account. Never had a problem with validation. UI could be a little better. – RyanN May 21 '14 at 12:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

KitKat does indeed allow having multiple accounts use the Play store in a single profile. First, create a new "shared" Google account. Then add this account to each of the kids' profiles on their tablets. When adding this account to the device profiles, do not sync any of the email, calendar and other Google services for the account.

From the Goole Play store home page, you can select which account you'd like to use to purchase apps. To prevent unintended purchases, make sure to adjust the settings so that a password is required for every purchase.

Select the shared account and purchase an app. Then, on a second device, select the same shared account and download apps that were purchased on the first device.

While there a little extra initial setup, this has been a great solution for sharing paid apps between the kids' devices.

Google Play's Family Library with app and game sharing goes live July 2, 2016.

From the relevant post on the website Android Police:

Family Library and sharing have been a long, really long, time coming on Google Play. In his different app teardowns, Cody has repeatedly discovered strings pointing out to the feature coming to Play Books, Play Movies, Play Services, the Play Store, but up until recently, the only Google entity that had benefited from any kind of family sharing was Play Music and its Family Plans.

But at this year's Google I/O, Google announced that Family Library was coming to Google Play app and games purchases with the new changes taking effect on July 2nd.

What has already changed though are the terms of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement. A new section 5.4 explains how a family group, with one manager and different members, can purchase the product once and share it with other members of the family. So starting July 2, any purchases you make on the Play Store will be available for sharing with your other family members.

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