Google Family Link adds much-needed teen Android management

Alonzo Simpson
September 21, 2018

It's not the kind of app that teens are going to be clamoring to get their hands on - who wants their parents to be more controlling? - but I think it's born out of a good place: lots of parents are concerned about how their children spend time online. The catch is that doing this will lock them out of their phones for 24 hours and send a notification to their parents.

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Google has launched new tools on its free Family Link app created to set "digital ground rules" for teenagers. It's required for a parent to gain access to a teen's Google Account, and it can be revoked at any time. Initiatives such as Family Link are essential in shielding young kids from the horrors of the open internet. Simply speaking to your Google Home device and asking it to lock your child's device will now complete the action. For those unaware, Google Assistant can recognize up to six voices. Over the coming days, we'll make Family Link available to more families, on more devices, and in almost every country in the world. In a blog post, the company said that it will soon be bidding "good-bye" to the Inbox app. "Support for Inbox will conclude in 2019", said the company in the post. The feature allowed parents to set up an account for a child under 13, giving parents control over how their kids can use the phone. Today, Family Link is getting a rather interesting expansion, as Google says that parents will soon be able to use it to monitor their teens' devices as well. The developers plan to add more features allowing parents to set screen time limits and manage the apps that their kids can use on Chromebooks just as they do with their phones in the near future. While the kids need to have devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and higher, some devices with Android 5.0 or 6.0 could also work.

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