Chrome OS users who rely on Family Link to manage their kids' computer habits just got a slew of new features, thanks to the Chrome OS 71 Beta.
Now, parents can manage a curated list of websites they've greenlit for their kids to use and approve apps downloaded via the Google Play store. Family Link also allows parents to hide specific apps already installed and manage in-app purchases for those already on the Chromebook.
Family Link also now offers specialized activity reports that track how much time is spent on individual apps. Some, like music players and messaging apps that tend to run in the background, won't be tracked as closely with the weekly or monthly report options. Read More
When Family Link launched in March of 2017, the service would only work if a parent created a new Google account for their child inside the app. For parents who had already opened an account for their children, there was no solution except scrap everything and start fresh. Google said it was exploring solutions, but we didn't hear much about it after that. Read More
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. Read More
Google announced the deprecation of Chrome Supervised Users at the start of 2018. The tool let a Chrome user to allow, block, or manage access to sites for supervised users designated under their account. Now we know that v70 of the browser, slated for an October 2018 release, will mark the official end for the feature. Read More
With a smartphone in your pocket, you can access the sum of human knowledge in mere moments. However, you can also access some really sketchy stuff out there that you probably don't want your kids absorbing. Microsoft is offering new tools to parents with an expansion of its family group features on Android. You can now access family controls in the Microsoft Launcher and Edge browser for Android. Read More
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. Read More
Verizon has long had a parental control service called FamilyBase, but today that is going away. In its place, Verizon is rolling out Smart Family. It works on both iOS and Android to allow parents to track device location, filter content, and more. The service comes with a monthly fee, but it does look quite comprehensive. Read More
Google Family Link debuted last year as a way for parents to create Google accounts for kids 13 and younger and keep tabs on their usage of Android devices. According to a new Google For Families Help support page, though, the service is now available on Chromebooks as well. That's good news, since Chrome's Supervised Users feature that previously allowed parents to limit their children's access to certain features of Chrome OS was killed off in January. Read More
Comcast's switch from XFINITY TV to XFINITY Stream about a year ago was met with lots of criticism for a number of reasons, and based on the latest Google Store reviews, users still aren't very happy. But here's something that might cheer you up: fingerprint authentication has been added for parental controls. Read More