Apple Puts iTunes Allowance For Kids On A Timeout And Promotes Family Sharing

Apple has begun informing customers that it's pulling the plug on its iTunes Allowances feature that allowed parents to load up their kids' iTunes account with anywhere from $10 to $50 each month. As an alternative, Apple is encouraging parents to manage iTunes purchases by taking advantage of its Family Sharing feature.

This is a bit of a bummer for those who were taking advantage of monthly allowances. We've all read our fair share of horror stories involving kids and teenagers running up enormous bills on their parents' dime because of things like unchecked in-app purchases. Though that's tougher to do these days with all the protections that are now in place, being able to send a monthly iTunes stipend was a neat way of helping offspring learn to manage money on a platform (mobile) that's important to them.

iTunes Allowance

Regardless of its benefits, Apple's ending the program. You can no longer create a new iTunes Allowance, and all existing allowances will be canceled on May 25, 2016. Any unused credit after that date will remain in the recipient's account until it's spent, but once it's gone, that will be the last of it.

Apple didn't say why it's ending the iTunes Allowances program and instead used the opportunity to promote its Family Sharing feature and iTunes Gifts. With Family Sharing, parents can link up to six accounts to share iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. That means if pop buys a game, little Billy can also play it on his device without re-buying it. The feature also allows parents to approve their kids' spending.

iTunes Allowance

Family Sharing isn't enabled by default, it needs to be set up. If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > iCloud > Set Up Family Sharing. On Mac systems, go the Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Set Up Family.