Google Family Link finally brings broad parental controls to Android phones

Google's search app is among the most downloaded apps in the Google Play Store, with well over 5 million reviews and 1 billion downloads.

Family Link is a new way for parents and their children to be connected on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and its online capabilities. With tablets and smartphones, kids can access any number of naughty things, but Google's new Family Link would to like to solve potential issues.

The Family Link app from Google lets parents create a Google Account for their children, while monitoring everything they do with their Android Nougat device.

Child safety features on gadgets have always been a tricky field to navigate, but a new Google release will soon make its apps easier to use for families and kids. Apps are sent to a request queue where the parent will decide whether to approve or deny the app's download on the child's device. And - for now - only USA residents may apply. Advanced parental control features include screen time tracking, app rating limits, bedtime schedules, and more. It isn't clear how freely Google is giving out these invites.

You can also set a new unlock code if your kid forgets theirs in order to make sure they can be connected whenever they want, unless you don't want them to. This control app will help parents monitor and control the account use of their child. Yes, you'll have to request an invite and your kids also have to be under 13 years old.

The app strives to allow kids access to a more age-appropriate version of the internet.

Google stresses that the app is meant for children under 13, who technically aren't supposed to have their own Google accounts yet, and it's worth reiterating that you need to start with a fresh device for this to work.

In case you thought you could be sneaky - the app shows kids what their parents see.

  • Santos West