Earlier this month, Google whitelisted a few extensions for kids' Chromebooks managed via Family Link, like Zoom, Hangouts, and some educational tools — only installable with parental permission, of course. This makes life easier for those who need to rely on video conferences for learning during these stay-at-home times, but it's still a tiny selection. To improve the situation, Google is now testing support for all extensions on managed Chromebooks in Chrome OS 83+ (we tested using Dev 83 and 84).
Netflix is giving users more controls who can access which profile and what titles they can access from within. Most of these additions are for meant to tailor the viewing experience for kids, but for groupies sharing a single account, at least one of the changes will relieve some people from having their content suggestions bombed by their fellow viewers.
Security and privacy are at the heart of our concerns with technology now. With every breach, hack, and vulnerability, we discover how frail this digital footprint we've created is. To protect ourselves, we make sure our devices are always updated with the latest security patches, we try to avoid suspicious sites and apps, we keep our eyes open for phishing attempts in our inbox, but that still isn't enough. If you have smart home gadgets or if you don't control every device in your household, you need network-level protection. Some Wi-Fi routers offer this, but the feature is usually tied in a monthly subscription.
The present parental control options for Microsoft Launcher aren’t enough for keeping children and teens away from their phone screens. At most, parents can assign an overall device screen time and get an overview of how kids use their handsets. Microsoft wants to address this situation by giving them more granular control over what apps and games their kids can use and at what time during the day.
A few months ago, Spotify announced some new features for its Premium Family plan that would be tested with users in Ireland for a short time before being made available to more users in the fall. The Family Mix playlist and parental controls that will make the Family plan far more appealing are now rolling out to users in the US as part of a wider rollout.
During its I/O press conference, Google announced several improvements to Digital Wellbeing including a tight integration with Family Link, enabling parents to set screen and app usage limitations for their children's devices. The feature was said to be coming in Android Q, but we hadn't yet seen it in any beta release. With today's update to Digital Wellbeing, the integration appears to be going live.
Google is well aware that its products are used by children, with the average age of kids receiving their first smartphone now down to eight. That's why the company has announced a whole slew of options for parents to control their minors' phone usage by putting Family Link features right inside Android Q's settings, for all devices receiving the latest OS.
The humble TV has been crying out for the right kind of innovation for a long time, but nobody seems to be able to get it right. Enter Caavo, a San Francisco startup that is currently making waves with its universal remote and entertainment hub. Today, it's introducing some new capabilities alongside a price drop.
I don't envy parents whose kids are bugging them for their first smartphone, but I guess it's one of the inevitable challenges. Verizon hopes to make the whole process a little less stressful for you with a new plan designed for young children.