Google offers parents control of child smartphone use - Mobile World Live

Google offers parents control of child smartphone use

16 MAR 2017

Google is rolling out an app called Family Link which will create a Google account for children under 13 years old which helps parents “set certain digital ground rules”.

Parents can approve or block apps their child wants to download from the Google Play Store, get weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits. Parents can also remotely lock the device “when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.”

“We want them to explore and be inspired as they embark on their digital adventure, but every family feels differently about what their kids should and shouldn’t be able to do on their device,” Google said.

It added children will need a new device running Android Nougat or higher.

Parents in the US can request an invite to the Family Link early access programme.

“We’re just getting started, and we’ll be asking parents using Family Link for feedback about how to improve the experience before we make the app broadly available,” the search giant said.

However, it added Family Link will not make apps or services designed for adults safe for children and noted it is up to parents to choose what content the children can download.

In April 2015, Google introduced an initiative called ‘Designed for Families’, which allows Android developers to categorise their apps as family-friendly.

It also launched a YouTube Kids app, which came under fire over junk food ads.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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