Parents can now use Google Family Link to “always allow” important apps: Report
Google's popular parental control tool just got a long-requested improvement - the ability to enable certain apps, like those needed for school, to run automatically without seeking approval.
While most parents would definitely be uncomfortable with giving their kids a smartphone at a young age a decade ago, things have changed over the years and now children are increasingly using both smartphones and tablets for school and non-educational purposes. Google doesn't allow users under the age of 13 to sign up for the service, just like Facebook and Snapchat, because of US law. But it does allow users who do not have an account to use devices in a limited fashion with the “Family Link” app.
Google's Family Link feature can be used to set up a phone as a ‘managed' device, allowing parents or guardians to control what apps can be used on the device (based on their ratings or simply by setting up a whitelist of applications) thus allowing for meaningful use of smartphones and tablets by younger users. Parents can also set these devices to stop working for a particular period at night, which will disable them during the preset period.
The company is now adding a long-requested feature to the Family Link app, the ability to “always allow” a particular app on a linked device, according to a report by Android Community. The feature should come in handy especially during the pandemic when more children are at home and using devices becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Now that parents can “always allow an app, their children can use particular apps like a calculator or a daily planner without the regular limitations of screen time (eg an hour of YouTube Kids or other video content accessible for children) and this will probably encourage children to come to their parents and discuss app limits and why they're there in the first place.
However, the “always allow” setting for app controls will still be overruled by the bedtime setting, which disables access to the device entirely and informs the young user that it will only be available the next day. The new feature should already be available for Family Link users and seems to have rolled out sometime in the recent past, according to the report.