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Question: Family Sharing - can I approve a Mac app from my iPhone

We have Family Sharing set already for all our iCloud accounts which we have been using on our various iOS devices.


I have just bought a Macbook Air for my daughter, and we tried requesting Family Sharing approval for a Mac OS X App. The notification appeared on my iPhone X, but when I click on it, the approval screen appears but just with the blue Cancel button on top left, and "LOADING" in the middle, the Get button that should be on the top right never appears even after several minutes.


Is this supposed to work? I didn't find any references anywhere to approving a Mac app from an iOS device. Thanks.

MacBook Air, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3)

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Mar 4, 2018 10:13 AM in response to anton001 In response to anton001

I didn't think Family Sharing applies to MacOS apps, just iOS apps.


Software License Agreements - https://www.apple.com/legal/sla/ --> The following is a common statement for many MacOS application licenses:


2 Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.

A.

Mac App Store License.

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Product Usage Rules set forth in the Mac App Store Terms and Conditions (http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/) (“Usage Rules”), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:

ℹ to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control; and



^^^

Doesn't talk about Family Sharing, just other devices you own and control (i.e., you'd have to sign on with your Apple ID and redownload the item from the Mac App Store app).

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 4, 2018 10:13 AM in response to anton001 In response to anton001

I didn't think Family Sharing applies to MacOS apps, just iOS apps.


Software License Agreements - https://www.apple.com/legal/sla/ --> The following is a common statement for many MacOS application licenses:


2 Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.

A.

Mac App Store License.

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Product Usage Rules set forth in the Mac App Store Terms and Conditions (http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/) (“Usage Rules”), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:

ℹ to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control; and



^^^

Doesn't talk about Family Sharing, just other devices you own and control (i.e., you'd have to sign on with your Apple ID and redownload the item from the Mac App Store app).

Mar 4, 2018 10:13 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:05 AM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

That's weird, then why did the "Ask Permission" dialog appear on the Mac, and the corresponding notification appear on my phone? Currently we can't install any apps, presumably unless I turn off "Ask to Buy" on my daughter's child iCloud account (which I'd rather not do - I'm trying to see if I can get it to work how it should work).

Mar 4, 2018 10:05 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:14 AM in response to anton001 In response to anton001

Maybe somebody else who uses Family Sharing can provide input. As far as I know the app part of Family Sharing only applies to iOS apps. Unfortunately Apple is really bad in having called everything an "app" but in reality iOS apps and MacOS apps (I call them applications) are completely different things. Now I don't know if having a license for a MacOS version also gives you access to the iOS version (I haven't heard of that but it is possible though I recall not long ago we considered getting an iOS version of something and it was a separate purchase) and your daughter can have access to that version through sharing but not the MacOS version?

Mar 4, 2018 10:14 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:24 AM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

I agree that there is no correspondence between individual iOS apps and MacOS apps. Just to be clear, we aren't trying to run the same app on both (impossible obviously). We just want an app from the MacOS App Store to run on my daughter's Macbook. The problem is with the the "Ask to buy" approval workflow, which requires the approval to occur on my iPhone, because I don't have an Macbook. Even if I did I might not have it with me or want to boot it up - my phone is ALWAYS with me, and if the notification pops there, I should be able to approve it from my phone.


I'm speculating here - there may be a technical defect because the approval notification on iOS pops up a screen which tries to retrieve the content for the app only from the iOS App Store, but it can't because it's not on there, it's on the MacOS App Store. If so, I think this is a bug.

Mar 4, 2018 10:24 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:39 AM in response to anton001 In response to anton001

Apple has either set up something and this is the first time I have heard about it on this forum, or I am not clear on something.


You do not have a computer? You have an iPhone. Your daughter wishes to buy an application for use on her computer. You do not own this application yourself? She is a minor. She is trying to buy this and it is sending a message to your phone asking for your approval?


Request and make purchases with Ask to Buy - Apple Support


There's this but it only refers to Family Sharing and purchases made from the iTunes Store, not MacOS applications. If you're still seeing this under the scenario outlined about then that's new to me.

Mar 4, 2018 10:39 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:58 AM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

Yes that's the correct scenario as you describe. Here are a couple of screenshots that illustrate the problem:


The App Store on the Mac:

User uploaded file


Now she clicks "Install App", and this happens:

User uploaded file


So she clicks "Ask", and I get a notification on my iPhone.

User uploaded file

I click on it, and just get this - it just displays "Loading" and never finishes:

User uploaded file

Mar 4, 2018 10:58 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 11:15 AM in response to Limnos In response to Limnos

No problem, thanks for looking into it. I think I'll contact support.


In the meantime I have discovered a workaround which is I can approve it locally on the Macbook by signing in with my iCloud ID. Not ideal but it will have to do for now.

Mar 4, 2018 11:15 AM

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Question: Family Sharing - can I approve a Mac app from my iPhone