Google's new app lets parents control how kids are using their phones

Google is Bringing Parental Controls to Android

Family Link is now available through an early-access program.

A cynic might suggest that this is just another way for Google to start collating data on younger and younger users.

Users will only be able to set up a Family Link account for a kid under the age of 13 via the app, it's also required for managing the account and monitoring device activity.

All of these options are aimed at allowing parents to control and manage their kids' Google accounts as long as they're under 13. The more organized format takes a user's recent searches and it separates them into their own respective categories, such as images, maps, in apps, videos, news, and more. Once you've got it installed on your device, you can set up a Google Account for your child in the app, then sign them into their new device using that account.

Family Link has a few usage limitations for now.

Google has announced a new initiative that encourages parents to give their kids a taste of what Android has to offer - albeit with full supervision. From there, child account management works much like it does with other parental controls systems, like Microsoft Family. 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. Parents can set daily screen-on time limits for their child, and even force the phone to be remotely locked at a specific time - for example, disabling the phone overnight from 9 p.m.to 7 a.m. every day.

Kids can use the app to play games and watch movies.

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). Parents can also see what apps are being used most often, with monthly or weekly reports available.

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