Google Family Link
In this digital era, managing your kinds digital activity has proven to be a frustrating exercise. Limiting the time they spend on the devices and knowing what they are doing is a real challenge.
Preventing them from doing something they shouldn’t is one big task. Thank God we got apps like Google’s Family link app which come to save the situation.
Google’s new Family Link service, designed for kids under 13, gives you control over nearly every aspect of your child’s digital experience. You can approve or block apps he or she attempts to download from the Google Play Store, see how much time your kids are spending on their favorite apps, and remotely lock their devices. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is how to get started with Family Link.
You Need a Family Link Account
Although Google Family Link is not available in Africa, Its is planned to be launched soon.
You need to fast set up an account with Google.
First, gather the essentials. You will need:
- A Google Account for your kid through Family Link
- An Android device (running Android 7.0 Nougat or later) for your kid*
- Your own Android device (running Android 4.4 KitKat or later) or iOS device (running iOS 9 or later)
- Your own Google Account
Download the family link app on your personal device from the Google Play Store. Then, install the same app on your kid’s smartphone or tablet and sign in with their login information.
There is a limit of one Family Link account per device.
How to Manage your Kinds Apps
One of Family Link’s most powerful features is its ability to help you manage the apps your children download and use. When they attempt to download an app from the Play Store, you will get a pop-up notification containing the name of the app, the app’s publisher, the average star rating, and the number of downloads it has accumulated.
In addition to basic app information, you see a maturity rating is also included in the download notification.
Approving app downloads is not the limit of Family Link’s capabilities, however. Once an app is installed on your child’s device, you can control its permissions. You can deny the Facebook app access to the device’s camera and contacts, for example, or prevent a game from connecting to the internet.
While you’re welcome to approve each app individually, it’s certainly not necessary. Family Link allows you to set blanket content restrictions (i.e., nothing above “G”) for downloading or purchasing apps, games, movies, TV, music, and books. You can also create restrictions on in-app purchases and paid content.
Limiting your Kinds Screen on Time
Family Link lets you limit the amount of time your kids spend on their device in two ways: By setting a Daily Limit and by specifying your kid’s Bedtime.
With the Bedtime feature enabled, you can schedule a window of time when your child won’t be able to unlock their device. You can selectively impose limits on weekdays (9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, for example) or weekends (10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday). Or, you can lift limits altogether on certain days of the week.
The Daily Limit option is a little less granular. You can specify a daily usage limit — a set number of minutes and hours your child’s allowed to use their device each day. Just like Bedtime, the amount can differ day to day.
If Daily Limit and Bedtime are not doing the trick, you can lock your kids’ device at any time with the Lock Devices Now option. They will be kicked off their tablet or smartphone immediately, and can only gain access again when you toggle the setting off.
It works even when your kid’s device is not connected to the internet. A special parent’s access code restricts the device’s features until you manually unlock them.