Google's new Family Link app invites live

16 March, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Garry Little
  • Kids using smartphones

To get your kid on board, you have to request a Family Link account.

A cynic might suggest that this is just another way for Google to start collating data on younger and younger users.

Family Link lets you manage your child's device usage. Google will launch Family Link, an app that provides full parental controls between a parent's and child's devices, according to USA Today.

Anyone with kids will likely share their smartphones and tablets with their offspring for any number of reasons, be it to help with their homework, entertain them when you're busy, or - yes - to keep them quiet when you're in a place where silence is encouraged. The parent will create a Google Account for the kid directly through the app. The app is US-only for the time being, as is so often the case.

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Parents can also see exactly how many minutes are spent in each app, view weekly use reports, and even set time limits for how long kids can use their phones.

When your request is granted, you'll install the Family Link app on your phone and use the app to create a new Google account for your child.

Family Link doesn't come with any other typical parental control features, like monitoring a child's physical location or restricting web browsing. Family Link is ready to help with that.

Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all require users to be at least 13 years old to sign up thanks to legal constraints associated with making such services kid-friendly. The preteens get to have their own Google accounts, for example, but their phones will carry YT Kids instead of YouTube. This includes games, mostly - it specifically does not include "Music Players and Messaging Apps that run in the background". One major drawback is that your child needs to be using a Nougat phone, but you can use Family Link to tightly control that device.

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