Google launched the Family Link application in 2017 as a way to allow children under the age of 13 to obtain their Google accounts, but while allowing parents to monitor children's activity while using the device, as the Family Link application helps direct the child towards useful content by viewing Apps that the child wants to install and approve or block with reports that show how long the child spends using those apps and other features that provide parents with supervision of children.
While Family Link has seen many improvements, it still lacks some features such as content filtering. However, the Family Link application from Google is one of the best parental control applications that provide many features for free, so whether your child reaches the age of adolescence or younger, The Family Link application allows the creation of an e-mail account for children under the age of 13 with supervision of the child’s account and follow-up of his activity while learning, playing and using the Internet, and in the following lines we review a simple explanation about the Family Link application and how to use it, its features and how to install it on phones Smart.
What is the Family Link application?
The Family Link application is one of the most important parental control applications provided by Google that allows parents to control children’s devices. Through Google services.
The Family Link application allows remote management of the child's phone, control of the applications and games that the child wants to install and approval before installation, while controlling the time the child spends on the phone, geographical location and other features.
What parental controls does the Family Link app provide?
The Family Link application provides approval of the applications that your child wants to install or block through the Google Play Store in addition to monitoring and limiting screen time, including the ability to check the amount of time a child spends within each application, through reports provided by the application about the activities of the application The child, and you can specify a specific time that the child can use his smartphone during that specified period only.
What are the requirements for using the Family Link application?
The Family Link application works on Android devices running Android 5 and above, and you can download the application for free via the Google Play Store. The Family Link application also works on iPhones running ios 11 and above through the Apple App Store.
To use the Family Link app, you need:
- A compatible device with your child's Google Account managed with Family Link.
- your google account.
How to set up the Family Link app
- You first need to download the Family Link app on your smartphone and then create an account for your child through the app.
- Start building the family profile by adding up to 6 people and specifying the parents to be able to get supervision rights on the child's account through the app.
- When you are done setting up the family profile you can open the app and follow the steps to control kids’ devices and it will require you to install the kids version of the app on kids’ phones and as long as your child is under 13 you will be able to control their phones but when your child turns 13 then your google account will be upgraded It is transferred to an adult account, but the application will provide the ability to supervise devices.
- Once the apps are installed and linked together on the parent's and child's phones, you'll be able to set the controls you want from the app.
- If your child is using a Chromebook, you can use the app to manage your child's activity and screen time by logging in to the device. You'll see the device is listed in the app and you'll be able to set time limits separately for each device.
How to use the Family Link app?
The application allows you to manage the applications on your child’s device by sorting the applications of the child according to the time spent on it by clicking on the hourglass icon next to the name of the application and then you can set a daily time limit for this application or block it, and the application can also control the permissions that each Application on your child's device.
The application provides only one option to filter the content of websites, which is to try to block adult sites, but this is a very limited and not ideal option, as a child may appear inappropriate content at times, but Google Apps provides filtering options within each application separately, you can take advantage of those options to limit From inappropriate content that may appear to your child, as Google Search provides the option to filter the results of safe search results from Google, and then you can select some of the sites that you wish to block.
The Family Link application provides flexible time management options by setting daily time limits for using the device starting from 15 minutes up to 8 hours, or setting the device to be turned off for specific days, as well as setting a custom time during the day to turn off the device during bedtime.
Text message management
You can block texting applications or set time limits for them but the application does not provide the option to monitor your child’s text messages, but if you want to monitor text conversations or video calls, you can rely on Qustodio parental control application.
The app enables you to know the current or recent geographic location of the child’s device and then gives you the option to navigate to that geographic location using Google Maps, but the app lacks to display the device’s location history.
Control the Google Play Store
The Family Link application is unique in the Google Play Store control feature, which makes it one of the most important parental control applications as it allows you to approve purchases for each application with full control over the purchase procedures and is not implemented without the consent of a parent, with the ability to set restrictions for applications and games that They appear in front of your child including apps, games, movies, books and music giving you precise control over what the child can download to their phone.
Youtube content control
If you allow your child to use the regular YouTube app and not the YouTube Kids app, the Family Link app can use the YouTube content filter and set limits on what your child can upload to YouTube, giving you the convenience of what your child is consuming.
Baby device control
Family Link enables you to prevent your child from installing applications from unknown sources, adding or removing users from their devices, as well as preventing developer options from turning on. The child has moved away from the geographical location that was specified by the parents.
Check the child's phone battery level
You can check the battery level of your child's phone through the Family Link application, all you have to do is scroll down to access the device information and the battery level will appear. If it is zero, then the connection with your child's phone has been cut off.
What are the features of the Family Link application?
These are the best features of the Family Link app:
- Parental control through Google services.
- Manage the applications that the child uses.
- Approve or block the apps that the child wants to install through the Google Play Store.
- Find out how much time your child spends using apps through weekly or monthly activity reports.
- Control the time a child spends on the phone by setting daily time limits.
- Set individual time limits for using each individual application.
- Set a time to shutdown the device.
- Know the geographical location of the child's phone.
- The possibility of locking the child's device remotely.
- See all devices that the child's account has been logged in through.
- Turn on sound notifications to access the child's device location.
- The app is free and has an easy user interface.
Disadvantages of Family Link App
- Parental control applications usually offer options to filter content that is not suitable for children, but the Family Link application does not provide this feature, but some Google services include filter options for content, for example, parents can activate the option to restrict content on the YouTube application to block content that is not suitable for the child, but these filters are still not ideal Significantly.
- The app does not support the monitoring feature of text messaging and video calling apps.