It can be scary for parents to give their kid a mobile phone. Back in the day all teens were able to do was call or text their mates but now, with the internet in their pocket, there's no end to the dark and scary corners of the world wide web they can explore.
According to research conducted by Google, 50 percent of kids in Australia between the ages of two and 12 now have their own phone or tablet. Sure, when they're little it's mostly used to watch shows and play games but as kids hit high school it can be necessary for them to have a phone as they start catching public transport and generally become more independent.
That's why Google on Thursday announced the launch of Family Link in Australia. Available for use on Android devices, Family Link helps parents or carers manage the child's device including the apps they can use, keeping an eye on screen time and even setting a bedtime.
Google explains how it works:
- First, the child will need a new or factory reset Android device. You can see which devices work with Family Link here.
- When setting up your child's device you will be prompted to create an account. Enter your child's birthday, and if they're under 13, you can set up a Google Account for them that you can manage.
- When you're finished Family Link will automatically be downloaded to your child's device, and you can choose the apps and settings that you want for your child.
From there you're able to approve or block apps from the Google Play Store, see how much time your child spends on their favorite apps and set daily screen time limits. You can also remotely lock the device when it's time to play, study or sleep.