Google has finally announced its own parental control app Family Link, allowing parents to create their child’s first Google account. Parental controls will be helpful in managing and tracking the screen time, daily limits and device “bedtimes,” and the selected apps that kids can use.
How this Google app works
To access the app, users first need to download the Family Link app and create the Family Group on Google. Parents will manage the group, and thereafter, they can create accounts for the kids. If the Gmail address of the child was created a year ago, it cannot be used in this new app. A credit card is also required since Google charges 30 cents as official parental consent, notes Mashable.
Even though Google has tried to keep the app simple, it takes more time compared to the average app purchase. Parents are also prompted to check all pre-installed Google apps before downloading parental control. It becomes an unavoidable step because the majority of apps were not created for kids, and therefore, parents will need to review the permission for each, notes Mashable.
After the child signs in with the credentials, all activities are tracked so that parents can learn how much time he spends on various apps. There are weekly and monthly activity reports, and both mom and dad will be able to define a set of rules for their kids, such as time spent on mobile devices every day. If the amount of the child’s mobile use exceeds the limit set by the parents, they can lock it remotely.
How it’s different from other similar apps
Google’s Family Link is different from the apps offered by Amazon and Apple in that it is a two-party system and is more like a third-party parental control and monitoring software in the market, according to TechCrunch.
With the help of Family Link, Google will be able to track what the kids are watching on the Internet at younger ages. Family Link will also allow them to access Google accounts with the help of a Gmail address and services such as Maps and search. However, these accounts will be under the control of the parents.
Google’s intention can be questioned here. Some might argue that the company is tapping the kids when they are young. But the truth is that kids are already on various Google apps even before the age of 13, mostly with the permission of their parents.