Saturday, December 9, 2023

Google overhauls its Family Link app for easier parental controls


Google’s Family Link app has been a great resource for parents looking to keep an eye on what their children are up to with their devices. Now, it’s getting even better thanks to an app overhaul that puts the focus on safety and communication. While the Google Family Link app has previously been praised for its solid parental control settings, the redesign adds plenty of new features that make it easier than ever for parents to monitor smart device usage while keeping children informed about the parental control settings in place.

In addition to a design update that sorts the app into three main tabs (Highlights, Controls, and Location), there’s also a laundry list of new features coming to Family Link. Since safety is a huge part of what makes the app appealing, features such as notification alerts when a device arrives at a specific destination (like school or a friend’s house) and the ability to see an individual device’s battery life are new additions that give parents peace of mind when their kids leave the house.


Other new features include the ability to set “Today Only” screen time restrictions that don’t impact other scheduled device limitations. There are also resources from Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, and the Family Online Safety Institute that can help inform users about online safety, as well as a web browser version of the app that allows parents to access all of Google Family Link’s features from a computer.

The new features aren’t just for parents, however, as one is devoted to providing transparency to children’s accounts in a family. With the update, children’s accounts will be told more clearly about the settings their parents have put in place, allowing them to navigate the spaces within the set limits without the hassle of frequently knocking against walls.

The update upgrades the Family Link app to the Material You design aesthetic that so many other first-party Google apps have been adopting. The overhaul update begins its rollout today, October 18, and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. If you’re anxious to see the new design and features, make sure auto-updates are on for the app and check the Play Store.

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