If you’ve ever seen a toddler around a smartphone or tablet, you know that kids can be magically drawn to the screen. But parents don’t necessarily want their kids to have unrestricted access: that can lead to unexpected credit card charges or viewing of inappropriate content.
So Google is launching a new app designed for parents who are ready to give their young children their own Android phone or tablet.
Family Link is an app that lets parents set up and manage a child’s account so that, among other things, your kid can’t install apps without your permission.
Here’s how it works:
- Get your kid a device that runs Android 7.0 or later.
- Download and install the Family Link app on your Android device.
- Use Family Link to create a new Google account for your child.
- Use that new account to sign in on their device.
Once that’s done you can approve or block apps your child wants to install, see how much time your kid spends using different apps, and set limits on screen time: you can have the phone automatically lock and bedtime, for example.
Family Link is designed for parents with kids under the age of 13, and Google is still testing the app. Right now you need to request an invite to the Family Link early access program to sign up, and it’s only available in the US.