Google s latest announcement will hopefully make the internet a safer place for children these days. Google has announced the launch of Family Link, an app that lets parents monitor their children s activity online through their Google account. Google s Family Link allows children above the age of 13 to create a Google account and use Google s services. Parents stay connected to their kid s Google account monitoring all their activity and also control their use. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than AndroidAlso Read - Samsung and LG confirm presence at in-person CES 2022
Currently in beta, the Family link app is available via invitations, but restricted to the US market only. An official rollout is expected later this year. To use the Family Link app, one needs to have a device running on Android 4.4 KitKat and above. Once downloaded, a Google account should be created through the app, and kids can sign into their devices using the newly created credentials. However, this would only work on devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and above and some Android 6.0 Marshmallow supported devices.
Google s Family Link will then allow parents to manage the apps their kids use by either approving or blocking the apps available on Play Store. Kids can send requests of the apps they want to download and parents will have time duration of 24 hours to either deny or approve the request. Parents can also check the amount of time kids spend on the apps with reports available weekly and monthly. In addition to this, parents can set daily screen time limits as well. Google gives more control to parents as they can remotely lock their kid s device according to their play, study, and sleep time.
While Google does give a credible amount of control to parents over their kid s usage of Google services, the decision does ultimately lie on the parents. Parents can allow and disapprove the downloading of apps on Google Play Store, but it won t restrict the content on apps made for adults. Google in its blog post explains, 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. ALSO READ: YouTube Kids app launched in India; here s everything you need to know
Google s Family Link can go a long way in helping parents monitor their kids usage of the internet. But then again, it also depends on the parent group and their knowledge and understanding of how this system works. Considering the wide exposure of internet among children and also the ease of using a smartphone or tablet, children way below the age of 13 uses the internet and all that it offers. But this step comes as something new and different giving parents a direct way to monitor how their kids use their devices. ALSO READ: Children below 13 have accounts on popular social networks: Study
Family Link, while on its beta mode, will receive feedback and suggestions from parents on how the app can further be improved. Google will eventually roll out the official version of the app later this year. There is no word on whether Google will make the Family Link app available globally. An iOS version of the app is also not available as yet.
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