Google announced a new app that parents of children who use Android tablets or smartphones will appreciate. The Family Link application gives parents control over their child’s first Google account and allows a series of parental controls to be set up reports Techcrunch. Those controls can do things like manage and track screen time, set daily limits, and create device bedtimes.
Family Link does establish what apps a kid can use. Filtering content isn’t one of the things Family Link can do. There were some parental controls already from Google, but Family link is meant to be more like some of the third-party parental control apps that are already on the market and it;s a two party system. The app on the parents phone is used to install and configure settings on the kid’s phone.
Both parents and kids have to be on Android devices for this to work. The install process starts with the parent phone when the Family Link app is downloaded to a device with Android 4.4 or higher. The parent can then set up the Google account for the child and Family link is meant for kids under 13 years old.
The child’s device is then used to sign into the new Google account that mom and dad setup. That child’s device needs to be running at last Andorid 7.0 or on the list of supported devices that run Marshmallow 6.1 including the Alcatel Dawn, Alcatel Fierce 4, Alcatel Pixi Unite, LG K3, LG Style 2 Plus, LG X Power, Samsung Galaxy Luna, Samsung Galaxy Tab A, and Sony Xperia X.
Google notes that the app isn’t available for kids on iOS “at this time” implying that the app might be in the works for iOS devices. There is a slight fee to create an account using Family Link of 30 cents. Google says that the charge is how it obtains parental permission for the account. Parents can use the app to block app installs that kids request through the Google Play Store. At this time Family Link requires an invite and you can request the invite here.