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Is Apple finally getting “family” friendly?

Technology sprawl is increasing. Our lives are becoming more complicated and it’s only going to get worse. As technology advances more and more consumer devices are being internet enabled. Our “family” environment is increasing reliant on technology and our kids are being more and more tech savy. With the increased exposure to internet and internet enabled technologies comes the inherent danger for our young loved ones.

I’ll admit, I’ve been an Apple fan for a while now. I still use Microsoft and Google products but I generally preferApple products over other vendors offerings. The main reason for this is uniformity. Apple has been working hard to get synergies across it’s product range from the iOS powered handhelds to the serious Mac Pro workstations (and everything in between).

With iOS8, Apple will introduce iCloud Family Sharing. This allows you to create Apple IDs for your kids and have real control over what the buy for their device. One of the very nice behind the scenes features is the family calendar. All Apple IDs in a “family” now have a common calendar and can see and edit Calendar entries marked “family”. For my family, this is a god-send. We’re a terribly busy modern family with the kids involved in many extracurricular activities. Having a shared family calendar built in and across the devices provides a level of awareness of this “busy” life. When one member of the family creates an entry in the family calendar – we all get notified!

Sure you can write it all up on a wall calendar but it quickly becomes cluttered and more or less useless. Having an electronic version of the family calendar allows all us to be aware of when or professional and family life conflict and more importantly, provides opportunity for us to reschedule or cancel activities so we can actually get some quality time together. Activating the family calendar in iOS8 is dead simple. Just add the family members iclouds account to your family, setup the adults to approve purchases and away you go. When you want to create a shared calendar entry, just create the calendar entry as normal and select the “family” calendar now under iCloud (in additional to your personal one). If someone else edits the entry, you’ll be notified by iCloud.

I really love this feature in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite and I’m sure it will be a big hit with families who use a lot of Apple tech in their homes and lives.

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