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Google launches Family Link to let parents monitor children’s device usage

Tue, 24th Oct 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Young Kiwis, just like their counterparts in other countries, are highly connected.

According to New Zealand census data, the typical New Zealand household now owns an average of 10 connected devices, with younger members likely to use them on a daily basis to watch videos, study for a school report, play games, and more.

Managing children's use of these devices, however, can be tricky.

Just as adults want to look after children in the physical world, they're also concerned about stuff like the apps they're using and how much time they're spending on their devices.

There's always a balance to strike between giving kids the freedom to explore the internet and helping guide their experience.

Google is making it easier for Kiwi parents to help manage their kid's Android device and Google account with the launch of Family Link, which recently launched broadly in the US.

When setting up a child's new or factory reset device, Google asks the user to create an account.

Enter the child's birthday, and if they're under 13, the user will be asked to provide consent to create the account.

Once that's done, Family Link will automatically be downloaded to the child's device, and the adult user can choose the apps and settings for them.

After setting up the child's device, download Family Link onto the adult user's device, and it can do things like:

Manage the apps the child can use Approve or block the apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store.

Keep an eye on screen time See how much time the child spends on their favourite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.

Set device bedtime Remotely lock the child's device when it's time to play, study, or sleep. As Google continues to develop Family Link, it's requesting feedback from Kiwi kids and parents on how to can make the Family Link experience better.

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