Back in March, Google launched Family Link in an early access program to help parents manage their children’s Android devices through app and usage controls. Family Link is now available for all parents in the US without the need for an invite.
Family Link can only manage Android devices, with parents able to approve/block app downloads from the Play Store. Phones and tablets can be automatically locked at pre-determined times so that kids can’t use their devices when studying or sleeping. Another feature is the ability to see stats on app usage in weekly and monthly increments.
There are some limitations, notably how Family Link requires parents to create a managed Google Account for their child. These managed accounts graduate to full accounts at the age of 13, though teens can still choose to have their devices controlled by a parent. At the moment, existing Google accounts cannot be managed by Family Link.
The service works on Android devices running Nougat and above. However, there is a small list of Android 6.0 Marshmallow phones and tablets that are compatible. Parents can use an Android or iOS app to control devices, as well as a limited web app.
Google notes that it has received countless pieces of feedback during the early access program and will continue to listen “as the product evolves.” To set-up Family Link, check out Google’s guide.
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