Google recently announced the release of their app Google Family Link. The app is designed to help you as a parent keep an eye on what your children are doing on their devices. Apart from knowing what they are doing, you will also be able to control what they do on the device. Currently, the app has been released in the US and with a possible global release coming.
To use Google Family Link, you have to download the application onto your smartphone or tablet which runs an Android Kit Kat (4.4) and higher or an iPhone with iOS 9 and higher. Your child should have a device which has Android Nougat (7.0) and higher as the operating system for Google Family Link to work.
Once you have those requirements set, you should create a Google account for them from the app and the sign into that account from the device that your child will be using. Once the account has been signed into that device, you will be able to control how your child uses the device from Google Family Link.
Using Google Family Link, you’ll be able to manage the apps your kid can use, approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play store. Controlling how much time your kid spends on their favourite apps will be one of the things you’ll also be able to do. Weekly or monthly activity reports will be available for you to monitor and then you’ll be able to set a daily screen time limit so that your child doesn’t spend too much time on the device.
Sometimes, your kid might not be spending a lot of time on their smartphone or tablet, but they might be using it after bedtime. Google Family Link will allow you to set a bedtime for the device so that it will automatically lock your kid’s device when it’s time for them to go to bed. This can also be used to help them take a break from the device.
Google Family Link is currently only available to people in the US and you will be charged a fee to create the account for your kid. This is done so that Google can verify that you are indeed the parent before they can start collecting information about how your child is using their device.
The app is also meant for children who are below 13 years of age and there is no minimum age for you to put your child under Google Family Link. If your child is over 13 years, they will have the option to continue being under Google Family Link. However, if they already had a Google account then they won’t be able to be placed under this app using that account.
Hopefully, Google Family Link will also be made available globally including Zimbabwe. However, if you’re a parent in the US, then you can start to use this app to control how your children use their devices. Let us know if you’re a parent what apps you use to help monitor what your children are doing on their device. What solutions do you wish existed to help you with that?