Google Family Link finally brings broad parental controls to Android phones

Kids using smartphones

With that in mind, Google is today debuting a new app created to help give parents more control over their kids' smartphone and tablet usage, letting mums and dads remotely lock it down when it's time to do something more productive.

Following apps like YouTube Kids, Google is working on providing a more child friendly experience for Android.

Google today announced a new Android app called Family Link that lets parents create Google accounts for their children.

The Family Link app sounds a little similar to the Restricted Profiles feature Google unveiled with Android 4.3 back in 2013, but that was more about controlling a device lent to a child, and it was limited to tablets.

Google is making a play to capture the family market. Additionally, parents are always looking to keep their kids from using or seeing things they shouldn't be, and Google is here to help. And - for now - only USA residents may apply.

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To respond to this need, Google has created the Family Link app for Android.

Family Link is now invite-only and parents can enroll in the early access program to take a look when it comes available.

Think of Family Link like parental controls plus monitoring.

If your child forgets how to log in to their phone, you can remotely change its unlock code.

Much like the Nintendo Switch Parental Control app, Family Link also lets you use your own phone to cut off screen time after after a certain number of hours or at a certain time of night. Yes, you'll have to request an invite and your kids also have to be under 13 years old.

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