Parents can now ask Google to lock their teenager's smartphone

Google extends family link features to teenagers

Parents can now ask Google to lock their teenager's smartphone

While the service became available on Chromebooks in April, users can now manage website restrictions and account settings for their children and teens from the device, and will soon be able to set screen time limits and manage the apps they allow their children to use on Chromebooks.

With the update, however, there is a difference in how much a parent can control their teen's device.

Family Link, an app launched by Google in 2017 that allows parents to supervise their pre-teens' Android screen time, is now expanding its reach to also include families with kids 13 and over.

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Family Link, Google's set of parental management tools for their children's Android accounts, has received positive feedback since its USA launch in September 2017, leaving parents in unsupported countries eagerly awaiting the service. Teens are able to turn off the Family Link supervision when they want to, but a notification is sent to the parent that it has been turned off but Google want each family to have the discussion about what suits them best.

Up until now, the app was created to help control the smartphone habits of children 13 and under. They can however, simply ask Google Assistant to lock the devices. For those unaware, Google Assistant can recognize up to six voices. Today, Google has announced it will roll Family Link out to "nearly every country in the world" over the coming days. This allows the parents to have direct control over their children's device, everything from choosing how many hours they can be used per day to when they're kept locked or what Apps can be downloaded from the play store. "The need for supervision doesn't end with mobile devices". Users in the US will also be able to use their Google Assistants to manage their Family Link accounts starting next week.

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