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Google has launched a new app designed to put parents back in control of their children’s smartphone use. This solves the problem increasingly faced by parents, who want to let their kids have smartphones, but don’t want their kids to use them all day, every day with no limits.

One of the many and varied problems parents face these days is keeping an eye on their children’s smartphone usage. This can be a tricky issue, especially as few parents want to spy on their kids Should Parents Spy On Their Kids? [MUO Debates] Should Parents Spy On Their Kids? [MUO Debates] Do you spy on your kids? If so, why? If not, why not? This is the question at hand today. These are the questions that we're going to explore in this debate. Read More . Hopefully, Google’s new app, called Family Link, provides a sensible solution.

How Family Link Helps Parents

In essence Family Link lets you maintain some level of control over your child’s phone. You simply download Family Link on your phone, and use it to create a Google account for your child. You then sign into it on their phone, leaving you free to control your kid’s smartphone usage.

Using Family Link you can manage the apps your kid can use by approving or blocking attempted downloads from the Google Play Store. You can keep an eye on screen time by tracking how long they spend using their phone, and even set daily limits. And you can set a device bedtime which will remotely lock the phone at certain times of the day.

There are some caveats to consider before using Family Link. For starters, your kid will need an Android handset running on Nougat (7.0) 7 Reasons You'll Want to Upgrade to Android Nougat 7 Reasons You'll Want to Upgrade to Android Nougat If you're thinking about making the jump to Android 7.0 Nougat, maybe these features could convince you. Read More or newer. Secondly, Family Link isn’t yet universally available, with parents in the U.S. currently being asked to request an invite to the Family Link early access program.

Smartphones Aren’t Inherently Evil

Family Link is a fantastic idea. After all, smartphones aren’t inherently bad for kids, as long as they’re not addicted to using them or engaging in nefarious activities. The solution is to have a responsible adult controlling their usage, and that’s exactly what Family Link allows.

Does your child own a smartphone? Have you put any limits in place as to what they can do on it and how long they can spend on it? What do you think of Google’s Family Link app? Are you likely to install it on your kid’s phone? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Val Wroblewski via Flickr

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  1. Devon Lindsay
    March 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Or if you have the oneplus 3, revert to now on tap by simply swiping left on your google now launcher, head to settings, then select "disable assistant"