Google Family Link Gives Parents More Control Over Children’s Android Phones And Tablets

Google Family Link
Google is looking to give more power back to parents when it comes to the devices they provide to their children. It’s easy for children to think that a personal smartphone or tablet is their way of bypassing restrictions that might be imposed by mean old mom or dad, but “Family Link” makes it clear who holds the upper hand at all times.

Family Link makes it possible for you to create a managed Google Account for each of your children, which can then be controlled by you or your spouse/significant other. Once enabled, Google says that you will be able to set your own “digital ground rules” when it comes to many aspects of device usage.

family link

For starters, you can approve or block — on a per-app basis — what your child downloads from the Google Play Store. Likewise, you can get visual readouts of how long your children spend on their installed apps and monitor this usage with weekly or monthly reports. You can even set screen time limits on a per-device basis.

If your child tries to sneak their phone into bed after “lights out”, a parent can specify a sleep time to shutdown access. If your son or daughter is supposed to be studying for a test instead of indulging in Candy Crush Saga, you can lock them down for a specified period of “study time.”

family link device

To get started with Family Link, you’ll first need to have Android 7.0 installed on all of your household devices (for both parents and children), which might be a bit of a problem. For starters, Android 7.x Nougat is only installed on less than three percent of all Android devices (as of March 6th), and Nougat’s rollout to tablets (a common device for children) has lagged even further behind.

However, if you do somehow meet all the criteria, you can request an invite right now to join the Family Link early access program straight from Google.