Google has started testing Family Link, an app that lets you create a Google Account for your kid and helps you manage the apps your kid can use, keep an eye on screen time, and sett a bedtime on your kid's device.
Obviously, we all want our kids to explore and be inspired as they embark on their digital adventure, but every family feels differently about what their kids should and shouldn't be able to do on their device.
Here's how the Family Link app works: First, your kid will need a new device that runs Android Nougat (7.0) or higher. Then, download Family Link onto your device and create a Google Account for them through the app. Finally, sign them into their new device, and you can then use Family Link to:
- Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.
- 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.
- Remotely lock your kid's device when it's time to play, study, or sleep.
Starting today, parents across the U.S. can request an invite to the Family Link early access program. After receiving an invite, parents with kids under 13 years old can download and try the Family Link app.
While Family Link can help you set certain ground rules around how your child uses their device, it can't make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it's up to parents to choose what's right for their kid. When you make the decision to give your child their own device, Family Link can serve as a tool that keeps you in the loop as they begin to explore.