On Wednesday, Google rolled out a new app called Family Link. The tool is a way for parents to keep tabs on what their children are doing on their mobile devices, particularly for those younger than 13. It gives millions of kids who are 12 and under access to the search giant’s services. Parents are always looking to keep their kids from seeing or using things they should not be, and Mountain View is here to help.
Android Headlines notes that these days, most kids at least have a mobile phone and some even have a tablet or a laptop. Big G’s Family Link will allow parents to create their child’s first Google account, as well as have access to a series of parental controls to track and manage device bedtimes, daily limits, and screen time.
Family Link is different from parental control features on devices provided by tech giants like Apple and Amazon because it is a two-party system. It works a lot like third-party monitoring and parental control software that is already available on the market. The tool set up on a parent’s device is used to monitor kids’ digital behavior.
Google’s new parental control app certainly seems like an attempt to steal some of ecommerce giant Amazon Inc.’s share of the tablet market, notes the Verge. The Washington-based online retailer offers great parental control features on the Kindle. It even launched a kids-only Fire tablet that allows parents to set educational goals and screen time limits. What is nice about Mountain View’s Family Link app is that it applies to any updated Android device.
Google’s new app, Family Link, gives parents a peek on their kids’ online activities. The tool is fully controlled by parents, which means they can manage the apps their children use, set a designated bedtime for the screen, and monitor how long they are staring at their device. People can block or approve apps their kids want to download from the Play Store, in a similar way how Apple’s iCloud Family Sharings Ask feature works.
Preteens previously were not allowed to comment on YouTube videos, use Gmail, download Android apps, save pictures on Photos, or do anything else that needed a Google account. USA Today notes that the Alphabet subsidiary becomes the latest firm to tackle parental concerns about their kids being exposed to age-inappropriate material. With the Internet giant’s new app parents can also check on the location of the handset or remotely lock the kid’s device.
Google’s Family Link tool, which is still in early access stage, will help parents keep tabs on their children. Parents can set up kids’ accounts, track their children’s physical location, and govern app installation. The tool is in a testing stage, and the tech giant is seeking feedback from parents who do receive an invitation. The Internet giant noted that the tool is no substitute for parenting, but still, many parents will appreciate the controls it is offering.
By Anila Maring
Photo Courtesy Google