Google brought its parental control app called Family Link on Android smartphones a little over a year ago. This app's primary purpose was the help parents control how their younger ones use their Android smartphones. The app gave them complete control over which sites they could access, which apps they could download and even lock the device down. Now, it is Family Link is bringing parental controls to Chromebook.
Family Link started out as a beta for US users only and required an invitation to join. But it was rolled out to the public on Google Play after a couple of months. Google has also rolled out Google Assistant features which lets them lock their kid's devices by a simple command to the assistant.
The Family Link app was rolled out to Google Chromebooks some time back but offered limited functionality at that time. Now, Google has rolled out more features that help parents control how their kids use these Chromebooks. With the new features whitelist websites, monitor usage, establish a bedtime, set a screen time limit, and remotely lock devices down. Also, if parents set up supervised accounts, kids will have access to the Google Play store and Chrome Web Store, and parents can review and approve apps downloaded.
Parents will be able to whitelist apps or even hide the ones available on the device. It also offers control over in-app purchases on these supervised accounts. The app also generates an activity report giving parents and the kids a breakdown of how the device has been used. This includes the amount of time the kids have spent on each app.
Google also lets users set up supervised accounts for their teenage kids. Teenagers do have the option to opt out of Family Link and turn off those controls. But parents will get a notification if they do so. The Family Link app for parents is available for Android and iOS.
"Today we're sharing more Family Link features that can help parents of kids who use Chromebooks, like setting time limits, managing the apps kids can download and more," Zach Alcorn, Product Manager, Chrome OS said in a blog post. The Family Link app is available for Android and iOS.