Google Family Link is a new application for Android that gives you more control over the Android devices of your kids.
This reads a bit like parental controls, and it is to a degree. The main idea behind the app is to give parents control over various aspects of their children’s devices. Among other things, it allows parents to set a bedtime for the device, monitor the on-screen time, and manage the apps that kids can use.
Before you get too excited, read about the requirements first. Family Link is only available to Android users fro the US. Also, parents need a Google Account and an Android device of their own, and the kids need an Android device running at least Android 6.1 on certain devices, or Android 7.0 The account for the kid is create through Family Link. Lastly, invites can be requested right now only.
One of the main features of Family Link is that children may not install apps on the device on their own. They have to request the installation of the application first, and it is up to the parent to allow or deny it ultimately.
Depending on the parent’s tech experience, it can be a good option to avoid that dangerous or problematic applications land on the kid’s device.
Of course, this won’t do anything good if parents have no clue about the apps and nod them all through.
The two remaining features are useful on their own. The first lets you set limits in regards to device usage. You may set device usage limits, and if usage crosses one of the thresholds, the device gets locked automatically and cannot be used anymore for the time being.
Google notes that parents may lock the device remotely, for instance when “it is time to play, study or sleep”.
Last but not least, Family Link allows parents to keep an eye on the screen time of their children. It reveals how much time kids spend in apps, and offers weekly and monthly activity reports on that.
Google Family Link gives parents some control over their children’s devices. The feature is limited to users from the US currently, and it seems also that Google runs it as a limited test run for eligible users as well as you need to request an invite to even test the app.
It seems likely that Google will make the app more widely available in the near future. It is too early to tell how well the protection works. Will it limit the creation of a second Google account on the device? (via Caschy)
Now You: What is your take on Google Family Link.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.