Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Google app beta testers reportedly getting a re-design

Google app beta testers reportedly getting a re-design

Interested parents with children under 13 (in the United States) can request an invite today as part of an an early-access program.

Google just lifted the ban on accounts for kids 12 and younger.

This afternoon the family crew at Google have revealed Family Link, a connection app between Android devices for smart device control. You download the app first, which allows you to create a Google account for your child, who then signs into his or her device.

Family Link has a few usage limitations for now.

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Once that's done, parents can whitelist or blacklist apps which apps can install on their kids devices. However, Google will reach out and give the birthday boy or girl the option of transitioning to a regular Google account, over which their parents have no control.

Even younger kids these days can school their parents when it comes to smartphone use, but knowing exactly how to pull up Candy Crush on any device in no time doesn't mean kids know exactly how to be safe online. This includes games, mostly - it specifically does not include "Music Players and Messaging Apps that run in the background". The preteens get to have their own Google accounts, for example, but their phones will carry YT Kids instead of YouTube.

While standard versions of Apple iOS and Google Android have some basic parental controls, those features have generally been an afterthought compared to the rest of the operating system and aren't as extensive as the controls offered on kids devices or Family Link. You also can manually lock the phone or ring it if your child loses it.

Parents can monitor their kids settings remotely through their own device, see the location of their child's device and more. After receiving an invite, parents with kids under 13 years old can download and try the Family Link app. Reports show usage on weekly and monthly increments.

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