'Family Link' Is Google's Twist on Parental Controls

Kids using smartphones

Above Kids using smartphones Image Credit Shutterstock

When your child is ready for their first Android device, Family Link lets you create a Google Account for them, which is like your own account, and also helps you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family - like managing the apps your kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on your kid's device.

Even younger kids these days can school their parents when it comes to smartphone use, but knowing exactly how to pull up Candy Crush on any device in no time doesn't mean kids know exactly how to be safe online.

To use Family Link, you will need an Android 7.0-based device, and you must create your child's Google account using that app.

The Family Link app will surely prove popular with parents considering buying their kid a smart device of their very own.

For an invite to Family Link, follow the link below.

Google has a new UI in testing for Search on Android according to a user on Reddit. From there, child account management works much like it does with other parental controls systems, like Microsoft Family.

You can now request an invitation to the Family Link early access program.

In order to access it, you will need the app, an Android phone running Android KitKat 4.4 or higher (for yourself), and a newer Android phone running Nougat (for your kid). Still, it could be a useful option for parents who want just a bit more say in how their kids are using their phones.

Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all require users to be at least 13 years old to sign up thanks to legal constraints associated with making such services kid-friendly. You can't see what app they're using at a given moment or what they're doing with their apps, but you can get a sense of the way they use their phone, generally. Reports show usage on weekly and monthly increments.

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