Introducing Family Link: Google’s Parental Control Software For Android
Google has officially announced the existence of Family Link, which is an application that parents can use in setting up their child’s first ever Google account, plus take full advantage of several parental controls that not only can monitor screen time, but also establish daily limits, bedtime limits, and select which apps their kid can access.
Sure, Google, Apple, and even Amazon already have parental controls in their handsets, but what makes Family Link unique is is its two party system nature. While other apps are installed on a parent’s smartphone or tablet to make sure that the gadget is safe for kids just in case their children uses the device, Family Link can also serve as a third party parental control tool -- simply put, moms and dads can keep track of what their kid is accessing, directly through their own devices by remote.
Thus, because it is a two party system, the parent and his child must both use Android. The parent will first download and install Family Link to his own handset (which should have Android KitKat 4.4 or newer version). Once installed, the parent can then proceed to setting up his child’s Google account (according to Google, Family Link is designed for kids under the age of 13 years old). Then on the child’s device, the kid can sign in using the log in information for his Google account. By the way, the child’s handset must run on either Android 7.0 Nougat , or a supported device powered by Android 6.1 Marshmallow (refer to this page for the full list of such devices).
Once the child has logged in, his usage will be monitored and recorded -- basically allowing his mom or dad to determine which apps he is using, and even how much time he is spending on those apps. As for parents, they can establish some usage rules for their kid, perhaps setting limits on the time spent, or a cut off time daily (no usage beyond bedtime). Parents even have control over which apps can be installed by their kid, and even can lock the child’s device by remote. Google does not recommend which apps should be approved, which means that parents will have to make that decision themselves.
Family Link is not yet made available for wide use -- sure it is on Android, but for iOS users, they may have to wait for their version.