Google Expands Access to its Android Parental Controls

Posted on September 28, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS with 4 Comments

Google Expands Access to its Android Parental Controls

Google announced today that its Family Link parental controls system for Android has exited its early-access program and is now generally available.

“We think Android is at its best when more people have access to the power of mobile technology,” Google product manager Saurabh Sharma writes. “And that includes kids. At the same time, we want parents and kids to navigate technology together in a way that makes sense for their family.”

Google announced Family Link, which lets parents create Google accounts for their kids, back in March. But at the time, it was an invite-only early-access program that was available only in the United States. Today, Family Link is now generally available, so anyone can use it. It is still US-only, however.

Actually, there are a few other limitations: Family Link for kids only works on Android 7.0 or newer devices, or on a select list of devices based on Android 6.0+. Parents can set up Family Link using the Family Link app on any Android device running version 4.4 or newer, or on iPhone. Kids can’t use an iPhone with Family Link.

With Family Link, you can choose which apps your kids can run using white- and blacklists and approval notifications, manage their device settings, monitor their screen time, and set a bedtime that remotely locks the device.

You can learn more at the Google Family Link website and from the Google for Families help site.


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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Google Expands Access to its Android Parental Controls”

  1. wolters

    I use this with my daughters Moto Z Play Phone that she has for Wi-Fi only. It is quite good and underrated. It does a very good job and makes it easy for them to request an app or website. The only thing I wish it had was expanded app timers. You can set a limit both on time spent on device and when to do nighttime schedule's but it would be nice to set timers on certain apps, like YouTube Kids.

    Oh also, let me give a plug for Windows Family Safety. This is a little known feature that works across all Windows Devices, including XBOX. Works awesome as well.

  2. James Wilson

    surprising this is not more generally available.

  3. GeekWithKids

    I want to use it with my kids, but it's not in Canada.

    I really want something like Microsoft's family controls for the kids tables, and I'm not cruel enough to make them use windows tablets.

  4. ben55124

    It's good. My 9yo has been on it for a few months with a moto g4. Every app needs approval. As I understand kid accounts switch to normal when they turn 13. So 4 more years of parenting then google takes over.