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.