Google has slowly been improving its Digital Wellbeing initiative by adding new features and rolling it out to non-Pixel devices. The latest improvement, seen in the beta version of the app, connects Digital Wellbeing to Family Link parental controls.
Parental controls for Digital Wellbeing were announced back in May at Google I/O, alongside the hotly anticipated Focus Mode. At the time, Google made it seem like the parental controls would primarily be arriving for Android Q devices.
And to help children and families find a better balance with technology, we’re making Family Link part of every device that has Digital Wellbeing (starting with Android Q), plus adding top-requested features like bonus time and the ability to set app-specific time limits.
However, with today’s Digital Wellbeing app beta update, the feature is being renamed in the Settings app from “Digital Wellbeing” to “Digital Wellbeing & parental controls” on both Android Q and Pie devices alike. Additionally, the ability to set up and connect Family Link controls now appears in the main Digital Wellbeing app view.
From our own testing, Digital Wellbeing’s parental controls are not appearing in the app yet for some, despite being obviously renamed in Settings. In some cases it took a few minutes for the parental controls to show up. We weren’t able to get any further in our hands-on testing, but you should be presented with all the standard Family Link controls including app timers and a whole device timer.
Family Link and Digital Wellbeing have common goals, promoting good health by discouraging excess phone use and even locking out apps. Aligning the two is a wise move on Google’s part, and is a continuation of the company’s efforts to simplify the Family Link experience for parents and children.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article
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