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Google Launches Family Link for Android

Mar 15, 2017

Google has just launched an early preview of a new product it has developed for Android. This new product is called Family Link, and it is a two-party system and application that will allow parents to setup their child’s first Google account. There are parental controls in Family Link as well, and we have all of the details about this new Family Link App.

Google Announces Family Link App to Keep Kids Safe on Android

The main premise of the Family Link app according to Google is to allow the parents to have complete control over the Android device their child is using. There are parental controls that allow you to set the screen time limits, manage them, set daily limits, set a bedtime for the device, and also track and set which apps the child can use on the Android device. This new app, called Family Link, will also allow you to setup your child’s first Google account, which is pretty cool.

This two-party system in Family Link works a couple different ways. First, you have an app that will be installed on the parent’s Android device. This will allow you to manage, configure, watch, and change all of the parental controls right from your own device. You will also be able to keep an eye on your kid’s activities while on their Android device. The thing here is that in order for Family Link to work, you need to have both the parent and child using an Android device. That is because as of right now, Google has not developed an iOS app for Family Link, so both people need to have Android right now in order to get this to work.

How Family Link Works

The first thing you will need to do as a parent is install Family Link on your Android device. You can run this on any Android as long as it is running Android 4.4 or higher. The parents then will begin to setup the child’s Google account for the first time. This account is supposed to be used for children under the age of 13, according to Google. You will then need to get your child to sign into their new Google account on their Android device.

When it comes to the child’s Android device, you need to have Android Nougat 7 or a supported device that is running Android 6.1 Marshmallow to use this app. All of the information that the child is putting onto the device is then tracked and logged. This means that parents will be able to look and see how long their child is using a certain app, such as a game or the internet browser. You can view weekly and monthly activity reports.

You will be able to see where the child is through the Family Link app as well, so you will literally be able to track your child using GPS to ensure they are where they are supposed to be. There is also a remote lock feature that you can use as well, which you might use if your child has already been on the Android device for a long period of time for that day.

If a child wants to download apps from Google Play, parents need to approve or deny before those apps are downloaded. That is really cool too because you will be able to see which apps your child is interested in and you will get a popup saying “Approve” or “Deny” the request to download the app. You also will be able to customize things like the browser, which could keep your child from seeing inappropriate content while searching the web. Once again, Family Link is in a preview mode right now so you cannot just download it from Google Play Store quite yet.

You can download it though right now if you want to help Google by providing feedback which can help them with the official release of Family Link. The goal here is not to control the content your child sees or downloads, but rather gives parents the chance and opportunity to decide on which things they want their child looking at and downloading while on an Android device.