In this post we’ll take you through a crisp detailing on How To Use Google Family Link and how it works.
The rivalry seems to be getting better day by day between Google and Apple, as Google announced its launch of Family Link. Family Link, is a security control application for parents that lets them manage their child’s first Google account. There are a set of other tools as well that allows parents to manage & track screen time, set daily limits, device “bedtimes,” and which apps kids can even use! Let’s now check out How To Use Google Family Link.
How To Use Google Family Link?
The Family Link app helps you to stay connected or in link with all the content and data that your child is exposed to on their Android phones. Family link allows you to create a personal Google account for your child which is similar to the one that is maintained by you and thereby helps you to set a certain set of digital ground rules for your family.
With the access to a personal Google Account, you child will be able to connect to Google’s wide network or system of services. Follow these steps to get started;
– Firstly, your child will require a new Android Device to start off with. Do note that this device needs to be running on the latest version of the Android Software – Android Nougat (7.0) or higher.
– Secondly, download the Family Link app onto your Android Device and through that, create a new Google Account for your child filling in the required details.
-Thirdly, use this newly created Google Account to sign in your child to their new Android Device.
Family Link helps you to:
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.
Set device bedtime – Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time for bed, or time to take a break.
Family Link is a different kind of service to what’s already there in the market. Yes, major mobile device providers like Apple, T-Mobile, Verizon etc do provide parental control setup but it isn’t anywhere close to what Family Link provides (at least for now).
Family Link is unique because it works on a two party system. Rather it is more or less like a third party parental regulatory and tracking software; wherein an application is installed on the parents main device is used to set up and monitor the child’s digital behavior and records.
So here are the technical aspects of using the application:
For the system to function smoothly, Family Link requires both the parent and the child to use an Android supported device.
- The Parent can run Family Link on their Android devices with the Kitkat (4.4) version or higher.
- The Child can run Family Link on their Android devices with Nougat (7.0) version or higher with exceptions made to the following Marshmallow (6.1) devices:
Alcatel Fierce 4
Alcatel Pixi Unite
LG Stylo 2 Plus
LG X Power
Samsung Galaxy Luna
Samsung Galaxy Tab A
Sony Xperia X
Features On The Application (How To Use Google Family Link)
Google’s Family Link is designed for children under the age of 13. From this app, parents will set need to set up the child’s Google account. Then, on the kid’s device, the child signs in using these new credentials.
Once signed in, the child’s phone usage can be tracked and logged. Parents can therefore see how much time their children spend on various apps, via weekly and monthly activity reports. From the parent’s app, mums and dads can set a number of restrictions on their children. Restrictions like how long kids are allowed to be on their mobile devices every day, at what time the devices can no longer be used that day (through a remote locking feature), and which apps can be installed.
Parents can approve or block apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store, much like how Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing’s “Ask” feature works today.
An inside source from Google stated:
“[Family Link] can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid.”
A lack of guidance is one of the gaping holes with many parental control systems today. That’s unfortunate given that all the app stores have app ratings. It seems that simply highlighting the rating to parents during the “Ask” process could go a long way to helping parents make better decisions.
Family Link does allow parents to at least remotely configure the filtering options for some of Google’s own apps, like the Google Search app and the Chrome browser. This will protect kids from adult content and other inappropriate material while doing web searches.
Family Link does not block inappropriate content, but some apps may have their own filtering options. Certain Google apps like Search and Chrome have filtering options that you can find in Family Link. We recommend reviewing app settings, and the settings and tools Family Link offers, to decide what is right for your family.
Family Link is just one tool to help your family navigate technology.
(“If you’re a parent in the US with a kid under 13, you can request an invite to the Family Link early access program. After receiving an invite, download and try out the Family Link app.”)
Hope you have learnt How To Use Google Family Link & How it works. Do share your thoughts and other queries in the comments section below. We’ll keep you posted with the latest updates so keep coming back!