Before Digital Wellbeing this year, Google was already investing in time management tools for devices used by kids. After adding Chromebook support in September, Family Link is getting more Chrome OS features like screen time limits to lock Chromebooks and customize Android app access.
Alongside phones and tablets, Chromebooks are important devices to maintain oversight over. Google notes that there are “just over 50% of kids between 6-12 sharing or owning a laptop device.” At launch in September, Family Link for Chrome OS allowed parents to manage website restrictions and account settings.
As promised, parents now have the ability to set screen time limits and bedtime hours. The former dictates how long a child is permitted to use a device every day, while the latter is a hard limit that disables access after a certain time.
Once met, kids cannot proceed beyond the login screen, and will see a “Take a break” reminder that notes the “Come back” time. Parents can easily unlock devices from the Family Link app as needed, while remote locking is also available. Features only apply to managed accounts, thus allowing other members to continue using the device
Meanwhile, in addition to managing websites children are allowed to visit, parents can now customize what Android apps are available to download from the Play Store on supported Chromebooks. There is a review and approve process for installs, as well as the ability to hide individual apps and manage in-app purchases on already installed ones. The latter is particularly handy for games.
These Family Link features are rolling out now, and also available on Android phones and tablets.
More about Family Link:
- Google Assistant to be available for Family Link children’s accounts on Chrome OS
- Google updates Family Link w/ Chromebook support, teen supervision, available worldwide
- Project Fi now supports Google Family Link to officially add children to group plans