It baffles me that something as important as parental controls isn't built into Android and that Google's solution for the problem, Family Link, was only officially released last year and is still limited to countries you can count on one hand: US, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and now Canada is joining the fold. There must be a legal or technical limitation why this isn't enabled worldwide, but I can't for the life of me guess what it is.
But I digress. If you're a parent in Canada with children under the age of 13, you can now manage their Android device, account, and usage through Family Link.
Google revealed a lot of products at its San Francisco event on October 4th, namely the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, the Home Mini, and the Home Max. There were also software features announced for Google Assistant and Home products, but there were so many that they're hard to keep track of. So if you ever need to dig up that one specific Assistant feature from the event, you can find it here.
Back in March, Google announced an interesting new app allowing parents to set up accounts on Android devices for kids under 13. Unlike setting them up with a standard account, Family Link gives you power over what they can do with their phone or tablet. The app was available as part of an invitation-only test in the US, but now it's getting a widespread public launch.
Last month, Google consolidated all of its family-sharing products under the new Family groups feature. From the new Family page, you can easily manage who has access to YouTube TV, Keep notes, content from Google Play, and more. Another component of Family groups, a shared calendar, is going now live for some users.
Google has added a number of family-oriented features in recent years, and now it's bringing it all together under "family groups." This feature plugs into family sharing for YouTube TV, Google Play Family Library, and adds easy family sharing to a few other Google services. Setting up a family group is easy, but there are a few restrictions.
We knew it was coming eventually, but just before the Google I/O keynote began, Google updated its developer documentation with more details about Family Library. Most important, we have a launch date of sorts: July 2nd. That date marks when app purchases will be shared in the Family Library by default unless the developer opts out.
For those who aren't familiar, Family Library will be a way for trusted family members to share Play Store purchases among one another. We have seen bits and pieces popping up in our APK teardowns for a while now. When it comes to video purchases, for instance, we can tell that you will be restricted to streaming the same title on only one device at a time.
It's Valentine's Day. We at Android Police won't belabor that particular point, but the family-focused social network provider Life360 will, because they've made a serendipitous purchase that just happens to coincide with this weekend. The company has purchased Couple, another targeted social app that goes after, well, couples. The announcement was made on Friday, but it's surprisingly lacking in any mention of a price, because huge denominations of money that aren't attached to large vehicles or small carbon concentrations aren't very romantic.
Google announced family plans for Play Music (and YouTube Red) back in September alongside this year's Nexus lineup. The very competitively priced group subscription was made official yesterday and can be activated through the Play Music app. As it turns out, this isn't just a regular standalone subscription, but it's actually part of Google's new Family Groups that will ultimately bring app and media sharing to the Play Store.
Yes, sharing your music subscription means you're also sharing a credit card.
A pair of APK Teardowns from both the store and Play services gave away most of the details about how this system will eventually work. Read More
Kids nowadays! They want their smartphones, their own Google accounts, and a way to purchase music and movies and books (well, hopefully) and magical coins for their new game because they can't try that stupid hard level again, they just want to skip it. If you're a parent, then you probably know the struggle between giving a child their financial independence to teach them how to manage their money, and keeping a close eye on their spendings to stop them from buying useless stuff or going over-budget.
Oink has been aiming to solve that issue by providing a middle ground: an app where parents can set their kids' allowance, check their funds, monitor their spendings, and freeze/unfreeze their accounts, and a debit card/wallet account that children can use to make their own online or in-store purchases and manage their money.
Seven days ago Google offered a game from Cartoon Network as its free family app of the week. Monsters At My Birthday Cake was a Zelda-inspired adventure game that, while skewing young, some of us could still find amusing for an hour or two.
Well, this week's free app is aimed at the little ones. Google is offering up a copy of Sago Mini Space Explorer, in which your kid gets to guide a dog in a spacesuit around a whimsical depiction of space.
Getting the game isn't as simple as going to Sago Mini Space Explorer's Google Play page, as there it's priced at $2.99.