Google is pushing several new family-oriented features for Google Assistant users and customers of its virtual cellular carrier, Google Fi, that will enable parents to easily and more thoroughly manage their children's relationship to these potent services.
From next week, Fi group (family) plan managers will be able to restrict who can call and text their kids down to recent and saved contacts and set a monthly data budget to prevent any runaway bills on the Flexible (read: not unlimited) plan. Parents will also be able to set up Family Link through the Google Fi app so that they can manage how much time their young ones spend on their phones and what they can do or see on them.
If you have a smart display, Google Assistant will roll out a Family tab later this year that will contain existing features like Family Bell and new ones such as new sound effects and new bell suggestions within Family Bell as well as being able to pause bells for a day. Family Notes will make its debut, allowing everyone as pictured above to vocally "scribble down" digital to-do notes or encouragements that get hung on the display.
Looking for something more to do with your kids on those displays? Ask the Assistant "what can I learn with my family?" You'll see educational activities from providers like ABCmouse. Maybe you want Google to "tell me a story?" You can now sort out stories with a new "interactive" tag, getting into the read-along action in Capstone and Noggin stories.
And if you like to keep tabs on where your family is with Life360, anyone 13 years or older can ask Assistant "where's my family?" Visual results will pop up on smart displays and other mobile devices while dictation will come from smart speakers.
Again, these Assistant improvements will make their way to everyone by the end of the year. You can learn more about all of these features and Google Fi's big promo on new group plan members at the blog post below.