Back in March, Google announced an interesting new app allowing parents to set up accounts on Android devices for kids under 13. Unlike setting them up with a standard account, Family Link gives you power over what they can do with their phone or tablet. The app was available as part of an invitation-only test in the US, but now it’s getting a widespread public launch.
We did a hands-on with the app around the time it was first announced, and we were impressed with what we saw. It couldn’t be simpler to use. When you create a Google account for your child on an Android phone or tablet, you’ll be asked for their age and your consent if it’s below 13. At this point Family Link will automatically be downloaded on the device. Once you’ve also installed it on your own device you’ll then be able to access the following settings:
- Manage the apps your kid can use: Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.
- Keep an eye on screen time: See how much time your kid spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.
- Set device bedtime: Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.
With these controls, you can let your children happily tap away without fearing that they’ll be accessing something they shouldn’t or be on it for too long. That’s the kind of peace of mind all parents can get on board with. It’s still only available in the US for now, but I’m sure a wider rollout will come in time. You can learn more on the Family Link website, and you can download the app via the Play Store link below or from APKMirror.