While many parents still stand firm in their opinion to not allow their child a mobile device until they are in high school, a lot of others have decided to get their children a basic smartphone for communication and safety purposes. With this, comes a lot of fears in terms of how kids conduct themselves and what they encounter in the online sphere.

An app that gives perhaps the most controlled use of smartphones by letting parents monitor exactly what their kids do with their phones is now available for Android phones in South Africa.

Google Family Link lets parents remotely allocate screen time, manage the apps their children are allowed to use (and for how long), check device usage time, see location information, and even allows parents to remotely lock their child’s device.

How it works

Parents download the Google Family Link for Parents app from the Google Play or iOS app stores, and also download the Family Link app for children and teens from the Google Play store. There is a simple set-up process that requires parents to enter all relevant information about them and about their child. Once the parent’s and child’s devices have been linked, parents will be able to track their children’s phone usage in a variety of ways, and will also be able to block explicit content on their kids’ device.

The app makes it very easy see what your child has been doing on their phone, and even gives you a breakdown of time spent on specific apps. Google Family Link simplifies controlling the amount of screen time that a child is allowed, with the device locking outside of set time parameters. The child’s device can also easily be locked, or even wiped remotely from the parent’s device at any time.

Google markets this app as a way to build healthy mobile habits in children – something that parents might admit to finding rather difficult to do themselves. Apps like these might just be the way forward in developing a sense of integration with tech that doesn’t take away from the authentic human experience – something that is indispensable in a world where tech is increasingly becoming a part of everything we do. Read this review of Google Family Link in Business Insider to see what the media outlet’s experience of the app was.

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