Google’s Family Link app bridges smartphones of parent and an under-13 child.
Does your under-13 kid have an Android gizmo at hand that keeps your anxiety level up? What Google has come up with in the US market is a sort of balm for the discerning souls. The news of Google launching the Family Link App has in the tech world been construed in manifold ways. Venturebeat views it as “a new app designed to help give parents more control over their kids’ smartphone and tablet usage...” while the Verge pronounces it as Google “making a play to capture the family market”. Engadget, on the other hand, describes it a thing “that lets parents create dedicated accounts for their children” and Mashable sees it as a tool to “open up its many online service to kids under 13”.
After all, this new app connects both parents and kids though they keep separate devices. A kid with an Android Nougat 7.0 and a parent with Kit Kat (4.4) or higher versions are ready for the game. First, send an invite. Step next is downloading the app from Google Play and both parent and child installing it on their smartphones.
Parents can now demarcate the apps to ‘to-see’ and ‘not-to-see’, set time controls on how long they want the kid to spend time for the gizmo and even set blackout time in a way that stops the child from accessing their device during certain hours. Parents get timely alerts whenever the child attempts downloading an app or a restricted site and decide whether to approve or deny.
Mashable drives home the point, that the app targets the under 13 population, citing certain research output. “The average starting age for a child receiving a cellphone is now 10.3 years and that 39 percent of kids get a ‘social media’ account at 11.4... For tablets, the numbers are even greater, with a 2016 study showing 84 percent of kids 6-12 use tablets on a weekly basis,” it writes. It also rewinds an earlier attempt, of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean introducing restricted profiles for kids, which ended up being an “all-or-nothing affair.”
The Verge finds a potential competition from Amazon even dubbing it as “an obvious attempt to steal some of Amazon’s share of the tablet market.” The kid controls on Kindle and the kids-only Fire tablet are cited as examples.