Family Link allows kids to use Android phones before they can have their own full Google accounts at the age of 13, but there are some drastic limitations attached to the solution. Parents have full control over everything kids do on their phones and can set strict usage and bedtime limits. However, many parents (and kids) have lobbied that some apps should remain available to kids regardless of how long they've used their phone, especially ones important for homework and communication with parents, and it looks like Google has finally listened: It has introduced a new always allow option for apps.
For parents, the dilemma of whether or not to set up your kids' Google account as a child account, and suffer the consequences, is real. Google is finally acknowledging that one of the biggest downsides of that experience is being tied to YouTube Kids. The company just announced that it will soon start testing "supervised experiences," which will allow parents to let their tweens and teens access YouTube in a controlled manner.
Family Link is Google's solution for giving children under the age of 13 access to its services. Parents have to set up their kids' accounts and are responsible for what they do on the web and their phones. There are also control instruments that allow parents to impose restrictions like bedtime and daily app limit timers, and get an exact breakdown of what children are using their devices for. Needless to say, kids hate the service, and they're vocal about it: The Family Link app for kids has a staggering 1.4 rating average on the Play Store, as pointed out by our regular tipster Anthony (thanks!).
Google Family Link allows parents to administer their children's devices, granularly controlling which apps they can install, how much time they can spend on their phones, and when it's time to put their tech down before bed. In an update to the service, Google has introduced new options, now letting parents set up per-app time limits and add bonus time before the nightly shutdown.
Google has split Family Link into two applications. Previously, the parental control service was offered in a single app which was installed on the devices of parents and children alike. The existing listing has now become Family Link for parents and a second app, Family Link for children and teens, has been introduced. After installing the latter on a child's device, parents can control it directly from their dedicated app.
Family Link, Google's set of parental management tools for their children's Android accounts, has received positive feedback since its U.S. launch in September 2017, leaving parents in unsupported countries eagerly awaiting the service. Thankfully for them (or at least, most of them), the wait is soon to be over, now that Google has announced it will roll Family Link out to "nearly every country in the world" over the coming days.
Google Family Link, a way for parents to create supervised/limited accounts for their children, has been slowly rolling out tomoreregions over the past year. It's largely feature-complete at this point, but there's still one pressing issue - it doesn't work with Google Play Games at all. Child accounts are unable to log into Play Games, which prevents many titles from saving progress - and some from working at all.
People in all countries have kids, so it's a bit disheartening when a feature launches for families and it's limited to the US. That was the story with Family Link last year, which was only available in the US at first. However, the parental control service started expanding shortly after, adding Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, then Canada this past February. We might have missed the memo too, because it added a few more countries between then and now (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Mexico, UK). That made the total eleven, but now Family Link is expanding to 26 new countries, all in the EU.