Microsoft adds more parental controls to monitor app and device use

It also announced a new kid-friendly news site.

Microsoft announced a number of parental control features today aimed at making it "easier and safer for families to interact with technology and each other." First up is Microsoft Launcher, which will soon let parents see where their kids are as well as what apps they're using and for how long. The new tools are currently in preview and can be used once a Microsoft family group of accounts is set up. If an Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC is added to the family portal, Microsoft Launcher will show activities on those devices as well.

There's also an update to Microsoft Edge on Android rolling out today. If you've approved or blocked any websites on Microsoft Edge through your PC for your family group, those settings will be extended to Microsoft Edge for Android devices.

Microsoft also announced MSN Kids -- a kid-friendly, ad-free news site for children in the elementary and middle school age range. Currently in preview, the website will include curated news items from publishers like Time for Kids, Popular Science, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic and USA Today.

These updates follow other similar parental control and digital health changes introduced or announced by companies like YouTube, Verizon, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google. "Creating tools and features that empower both parents and kids has always been an important part of our work," said Microsoft, "and is becoming increasingly vital, not only to us as a business, but to us as individuals -- parents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends."