Google Australia have today announced the availability of their Family Link parental control software for Android Devices. Aimed at giving some peace of mind let alone control to parents its an important step forward in what is a difficult area for parents.

To enable Family Link your Childs device will need to be setup from scratch, meaning it only applies to new Devices and those compatible devices that are factory reset.

During the setup process you are asked to create an account and enter a child’s age, from this point the software is installed and the parents Google account becomes the point of approval for app downloads on the devices

Similar to the way Apple’s Family Sharing iTunes accounts work, Family Link allows a child to choose an app to download, then request approval to download from their parent.

Parents receive the approval notification as a pop up. For the parent there isn’t a requirement to be on Android, so parents on either Android or Apple devices can approve requests and monitor Family Link devices from any smartphone.

Additionally, parents can manage screen time limits, check screen usage time and also set “bed times” for devices so they are unable to be used during certain hours

These features are critical for parents in this digital world, and while it’s a whole extra level of learning for the parent, if introduced to kids at a young age, and done as part of a broad discussion on app control and screen time kids can and will be accepting of this “oversight”.

Similar features are available on devices like Trend Micro Home security, Google’s own Google WiFi system and NETGEAR are launching Disney’s Circle parental controls into their devices too.

Apple users and parents with kids who have iPads or iPods should use Apple’s Family Sharing account system to monitor app downloads, and enable on device restrictions for their children as relevant to their age.

Web: Google Family Link