Navigating family technology can be a tricky business. If your family uses Android devices then you might be interested in the Google Family Link app, developed by Google that helps parents manage their child’s devices and apps. Elijah Lawal, Google UK & Ireland Communications & Public Affairs Manager tells us about the app:
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What is it?
The Google Family Link app was developed to help parents stay in the loop while their kids are online.
The Family Link app enables a parent to connect their Android phone or iPhone to their children’s Android phone or tablet and manage remotely what the child can then do.
The app will work for devices that are running Android Nougat 7.0 or later.
With Google Family Link parents can
- Manage the apps your kid can use
- Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.
- Keep an eye on screen time
- See how much time your kid spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.
- Set device bedtime
- Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.
The app is free to download, when you register there is a nominal small charge of 30c made by credit card to verify that is actually a parent using it. (The charge shows up on your credit card statement.)
You might also like reading 10 Tips for Practical Internet Safety for Kids
Who is it for?
It’s for parents of under 13s, as once your child turns 13, they can have a Google account for themselves.
Why is it different?
It’s not a case of on / off access to the internet. It is designed for parents to help them have hands on experience with their child. It’s flexible and Google recognises that it is important that parents are involved with their child’s journey online, but also that different parents have different parenting styles. What one parent might deem appropriate, another might not be happy about their child seeing that.
It doesn’t promise to keep kids completely safe but rather offers parents a way of managing and being hands on depending on the family circumstances.
As Amar Gandhi, Google’s director of product management says “We never think tech is a substitute for parenting, but we do think technology can help.”
You might also like reading Kids Online? 5 Tips You Should Know
Tell us in 10 words or less why parents should use the Google Family Link app
Digital ground rules that work for families.
Over to you now. Have you downloaded and used the Google Family Link app? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.