Smartphones are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives and with growing affordability of these devices, it’s not uncommon for parents to hand over one to their kids too. Now Google is making it easier for parents to be able to control their kids’ Android devices.
The company has mentioned that Family Link is available to parents of kids under 13 years of age. The feature is currently only being rolled out to users in United States.
“Kids are the most curious among us, and technology can be an avenue for them to express their creativity and to help them learn—whether they’re doing research for a school report, learning to string together a few chords on a guitar, or just playing their favorite games,” Google’s blog post reads.
“At the same time, we want parents and kids to navigate technology together in a way that makes sense for their family.” Towards this end, the company has launched the new Family Link feature to Google accounts.
How Does it Work?
You’ll need to create a Google Account for your kid that is managed with Family Link and setup their Android device with that Google account.
This can also be done while setting up the device. When the Android device is turned on, it’ll ask you to create a Google account.
Enter your kid’s birthday, and if they’re under 13, Family Link will be downloaded to the device automatically. Once that’s done you can choose the apps and settings of the device that you’ll like for your kid.
3 Things You Can Control
Now install the Family Link app via the Google Play store or App Store on iOS to your device to be able to control your kids’ device in the following three ways:
App Control: You will be able to manage the apps that your kids can use. Your kids can still surf the Google Play Store but you’ll be notified if they wish to download something and can approve or block their choice.
Screen Time Control: You can check monthly or weekly activity reports stating how much time your kids spend on each of the apps. You can also set a daily screen time limit for the device.
Set Device Bedtime: You can lock your kid’s device remotely using this option. Per se, you can also set up a bedtime, when the device will be locked automatically.
All Android devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher are compatible with Family Link feature for kids. The following Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices are compatible with Family Link:
Alcatel Fierce 4
Alcatel Pixi unite
LG Stylo 2 Plus
LG X Power
Samsung Galaxy Luna
Samsung Galaxy Tab A
Song Xperia X
The Family Link app for parents is compatible on Android devices running Kit Kat 4.4 and higher, and iPhone devices running iOS 9 and higher.