Google built a new Family Link app for Android devices which gives parents a peek at their children’s online activities.
Google is making a play to seize the family market. Today it announced its new “Family Link app”, which allows parents create a Google account for their children. This Google account is completely controlled by parents, by that, they can manage the applications of their kids using, monitor how long they’re staring at their device, daily limits and can set designated device bedtime for the screen. Parents can also remotely lock the app.
To create this Google account, parents just have to get their children a device that runs on Android Nougat OS, download Family Link app, and then create an account through the app. Family Link is now available through an early-access program. The parents need to request an invite and your kids also have to be under 13 years old and it was not clear how freely Google is giving out these invites.
After downloading the app, parents will set up the child’s Google Account.Then, on the kid’s device, the child signs in using these new authorizations.
Once signed in, the child’s phone usage is tracked and logged, so parents can see how much time their kids are spending in various apps. The app allows the parents to set a number of rules for their kids, including how long kids are allowed to be on their mobile devices every day, at what time the devices cannot be used through a remote locking feature, and which apps can be installed.
Parents can accept or block apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store, much like how Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing’s “Ask” feature works today and it is quite different from other devices, Family link works like third party parental control and monitoring device, the app installed on the parent’s device is used to configure settings and can keep an eye on their child’s behavior. Like Apple, Google doesn’t offer any suggestions as to whether a given app should be approved, however – that decision is left up to the parents’ discretion.
“The goal in every area of Google is to improve what we do for kids,” said Pavni Diwanji, a Google engineering vice president. It was her own daughter, now 11 years old, who searched for Thomas the Tank Engine, so she had a personal stake in the project’s success.
In today’s world, lack of guidance is one of the gaping holes with many parental control systems. With the help of Family Link app, parents can control and monitor their children while accessing a device. It allows the parents to remotely configure the filtering options for some of Google’s own apps, like the Google Search app and the Chrome browser. This will protect their children from adult content and other inappropriate material when doing net surfing.