Not too long ago, I locked myself into a Google child account as an experiment and quickly ran into a whole lot of restrictions, some more questionable than others. Among the less understandable ones was the fact that I couldn't use the account to log into any third-party apps, which renders applications that only rely on this login method useless to me (and, you know, actual kids). Google is finally changing that. The company has sent out an email informing Family Link managers that they can now allow their children to sign into third-party apps.

As the email states, kids can now use their Google accounts to sign into third-party apps, provided that parents grant the request. By default, children will now be able to ask their supervisors for permission to sign into any third-party apps, but parents can also give their children blanket access for apps that don't request too much data via a toggle in Family Link under their kid's Account info -> Controls for third party apps.

This is a feature many parents and kids have been waiting for. Many apps, even educational ones, have an option to sign in with a Google account, which is usually a simpler solution than coming up with new login details. There are even a few that don't offer any viable alternative login options for minors, like Pushbullet. The problem is also pretty pronounced when it comes to games.

It looks like Google is finally taking Family Link more seriously. The company recently improved management of daily usage restrictions and has started promoting its family management tools more aggressively by introducing a new families.google website with resources on how to handle kids and technology. But there's still much work left, as a quick glance at my Family Link adventure might tell you.

Google Family Link for parents
Google Family Link for parents