Google improves the Android experience for kids with Family Link

Having kids use your mobile phone can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience, given all those horror stories of mysterious bills being built up from in-app purchases. Now, Google is helping to temper any anxieties you might have by releasing Family Link to help manage your child’s Android experience. Right now, the service is only available in the United States.

In its announcement, Google said:

“Today, we’re happy to announce that Family Link, our solution for bringing kids and their parents into the Android ecosystem, is now available to parents in the United States without an invitation. Parents can also create a Google Account for their kids right from Android setup, and then manage their kid’s account and device with Family Link.”

With Family Link, you will be able to manage the apps your child uses; when they go to download an app from the app store, you must first approve the download. Secondly, you’ll receive reports about how much time your child spends using their apps. The reports can be viewed in weekly and monthly time frames; from this data, you can choose how to restrict screen time with the provided tools in Family Link. Lastly, you can lock the device at set times, this way it’s easier for you to get a kid to go to sleep or do homework.

To use Family Link, the child’s device must be running Android 7.0+ or Android 6.0+. However, only the following devices work if the service is used with Android 6.0:

  • Alcatel Dawn
  • Alcatel Fierce 4
  • Alcatel Pixi Unite
  • LG K3
  • LG Stylo 2 Plus
  • LG X Power
  • Samsung Galaxy Luna
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A
  • Sony Xperia X

Parents’ devices can install and use the app on their phone so long as it’s running Android 4.4+, or iOS9+. You can find the app on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Source: Google

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