Microsoft Family Safety App is Now Available

Posted on July 28, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile with 7 Comments

After several weeks in preview, Microsoft’s new Family Safety app for Android and iOS is now generally available.

“Today, we are excited to announce that the Microsoft Family Safety app, designed to help you protect your family’s digital and physical safety, is starting to rollout today on iOS and Android,” Microsoft corporate vice president Liat Ben-Zur writes in the announcement post. “Over the past few months, I have been using the preview with my family, and it has been a game-changer!”

Based on feedback during the preview, Microsoft has improved its Family Safety app by adding a new feature to block or unblock specific apps, updating its designs to be more accessible and inclusive, adding more time options for parents to quickly respond to requests for screen time (you can now easily add 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours of more of screen time), and adding location clustering to see when multiple family members are at the same location.

“It is also important to me that my family’s privacy is protected. I am not a fan of apps that sell or share my family’s location data to third parties,” she writes. “Microsoft Family Safety provides you full control around how and why data is collected and used. Unlike other location-tracking apps, your family’s location data will not be sold or shared with insurance companies or data brokers.”

Microsoft plans to add more features in the future, including two premium features that will be part of Microsoft 365 Family: Drive safety driving behavior insights and location alerts to notify you when a family member arrives or departs a specific location. “We are also in the process of working to bring digital safety features to iOS to set screen time and content filters on iPhones,” she says.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (7)

7 responses to “Microsoft Family Safety App is Now Available”

  1. Avatar

    sherlockholmes

    Just installed it. Will explorer it. looks good. My wife and her son also uses it now.

  2. Avatar

    bart

    Having used this whilst in Preview, we are happy with it. Our kid not so much, he prefers more screen time :) But hey, I guess that proves the app works.

  3. Avatar

    hillcountry

    What I do not understand is why they released Family Safety and Xbox Family. There is overlap between the two, but each can do things that the other cannot. I wish they had made just one app and let you turn off what you do not need.

  4. Avatar

    yehuda

    Not sure why anyone would use this for family tracking over life360?

    I get the appeal of the locking down kids screen time.

    But life360 has integrations via ifttt, etc. and allows for free notifications for places etc.

  5. Avatar

    proftheory

    I'm sure for some kids the battery life will improve with it - phone is turned off.

  6. Avatar

    jeffrye

    I've been using family safety ever since Windows 8. It's had some bugs but overall it's been really good. Having the app makes it even easier as a parent.

  7. Avatar

    Yzencee

    Had been using web-based Family Safety feature for a long time which had been fine. It is a nice feature to set my children's Xbox or Windows usage times from my phone although the map finder is very slow and the usage time for their cellphones is unreliable. Sadly, at this time, the app is too basic and is not an alternative to Life360.

Leave a Reply