Google launches Family Link with better parental control featuresBy : CIOL Writers |March 16, 2017 0
Google is finally answering many parents’ prayers by launching ‘Family Link‘ which allows parents to not only keep a tab on their kids online activity but also manage and track screen time, daily limits, device “bedtimes,” and which apps kids can use.
Designed for children below the age of 13, Family Link allows parents to create Google account for kids.
To set up an account, both the parent and the child need Android devices, running Android KitKat (4.4) or higher. The service will later allow the parent to use an iOS device to manage their children’s accounts. Apart from their own Google account, parents also need a valid credit or debit card to prove that a credit card owner or an adult has approved the child’s account.
Once the app is downloaded, parents can create a “family manager” account to set up and manage accounts for their kids. Parents can manage what apps the kids can use or set guidelines for the types of apps or websites a child can access based on ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Notably, Google-owned YouTube app is blocked because it has material unsuitable for young children. However, YouTube Kids app is available.
Parents can use their Android device to control when their child’s device is used and set a “bedtime”. Parents can also set daily screen time limits and manage other times when the device can or can’t be used.
There is also a “lock now” function for times when you just want your kid to stop using the phone right away. Importantly, the parent doesn’t have to be close by to control the child’s device.
Parents can also authorise kids to have their own Gmail account; however to access and change the password only the child’s device could be used.
Family Link is yet to be launched officially. If you are willing to test the features and give feedback, you can request the invite here.