Google offers a solution to content management through Family Link
In the information age, a top priority of parents is managing their children’s exposure to electronic media and the internet. With nearly unfettered access to the largest repository of information in human history, parents may worry about what little eyes are viewing and soaking in. Enter Family Link, a new service by Google aimed at equipping parents to manage their children’s Android accounts.
Family Link works like this: the parent can download the Family Link app on their Android device and create a Family Link account. This account will then be used to sign in on the child’s device. Once the sign in is complete, parents can then control various aspects of their child’s experience. Apps can be restricted, use time can be measured, and time limits can be set. For instance, parents can set the screen to lock after a certain amount of screen-on time, or the device can be set to lock at a specific time of day (e.g., bedtime).
There are some drawbacks to Family Link right now, though. Currently, the app is available only by invite, which parents can request at the Family Link site. Invites are only open to users in the United States. Also, the child’s device must run Android 7.0 Nougat or later, or be on the follow list:
- Alcatel Dawn
- Alcatel Fierce 4
- Alcatel Pixi Unite
- LG K3
- LG Stylo 2 Plus
- LG X Power
- Samsung Galaxy Luna
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A
- Sony Xperia X
Families invested in Apple’s ecosystem are out of luck for now.
Some may see this as intense micro-management or may disagree with allowing children to use screens at all. As a parent myself, I try my hardest to limit my children’s exposure to screens and devices, but that’s almost impossible in this day and age. It’s nice to have options available to help parents raise their children; hopefully, Family Link will expand to include all Android users soon.