What you need to know
- Google has launched a new website that aims to serve as a one-stop technology resource for families.
- It is also rolling out a bunch of new updates to Family Link, including "always allowed" apps, parental controls on-device for Android, and an increased catalogue of teacher-approved apps for kids.
- The new features will be rolling out to users in the U.S. over the coming weeks.
In September 2017, Google launched Family Link for Android devices, allowing parents to keep their children safe on the internet by managing apps, settings screen time limits, and more. Family Link is now getting a major upgrade to help parents focus more on how their kids use devices.
You can now encourage your kids to spend more time with the best Android apps you approve of. When you designate an app as "always allowed," your children can keep using it even when their screen time limit is up. You will also see added details in the daily, weekly, and monthly activity reports in the Family Link app.
The Family Link Android app now offers a much wider catalog of teacher-approved apps for kids under 13 in the U.S., which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store directly to your child's device. Another useful addition to the Family Link Android app is the ability to see the battery life of your kids' device. Finally, Google has made it easier to manage parental controls by allowing you to set screen limits right from your child's phone or tablet.
Along with new Family Link updates, Google has introduced families.google, a new website that includes resources from organizations such as Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, Family Online Safety Institute, Headspace, PBS KIDS, and Sesame Workshop on how you should approach your kids' technology use and keep them safe online.
This last year, Google saw a significant increase in searches like "mindfulness for kids" and "fun at home activities for kids." To help families practice mindfulness together, it has joined hands with Headspace. An episode from the new Headspace Breathers series will debut weekly on YouTube and YouTube Kids over the next month.