Though kids these days seem to have innate knowledge about technology and devices, Google has announced the launch of Family Link app to accelerate the utilization of its platform by children. It’s the company’s way of introducing Android to the kids. The app lets parents create and monitor a Google account for kids when they are ready for their first android device.
According to the company, the app will allow parents to set “digital ground rules” like managing the apps a kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on a kid’s device, which can be considered a parental control for a child’s new android device.
Designed for children under the age of 13 and available only in the US currently, all the Family Link app needs is a new device that runs on Android Nougat 7.0 or certain Android Marshmallow 6.0 devices. Post downloading the app on the parent device one can create an account for the child through the app.
Once the kid has logged on the new device the app can approve or block the apps that the kid wants to download from the Google Play Store. See how much time a kid spends on his/her favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device. And remotely lock the kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.
Interestingly other mobile device providers also provide parental controls on the devices by directly controlling the applications that a child uses. Where Family Link differentiates is that it acts like a second party application installed on a parent device that will keep track, change and configure settings of the third party applications on the child’s device.
Pavni Diwanji, Vice President Engineering, Google, said in an official blog “While Family Link can help you set certain ground rules around how your child uses their device, it can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid.”
“When you make the decision to give your child their own device, Family Link can serve as a tool that keeps you in the loop as they begin to explore.”
Using this application, parents can remotely control what content their kids can see on their phone while searching on Google or any other Internet search app by filtering the search settings. It will also send approval requests to the parent device for applications that the kid wants to download.
The Verge states that the application seems to have some similar features to that of Amazon, which gives kid controls on the Kindle Tablet. Amazon also released a Fire Tab just for kids, which provided child-friendly content and helped parents keep a tab on the screen time limits and study goals.