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Google's 'Family Link' parental controls expands to teens

It's also rolling out to most countries.
Devindra Hardawar, @devindra
September 18, 2018
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Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

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"Family Link," Google's parental controls for Android and Chromebooks, is growing up. Well, in a sense. For one, it's no longer limited to kids -- soon adults will also be able to manage their teen's devices with existing Google accounts. Wisely, that can only occur with the teenager's permission, and they can also "unlock" their devices after parental controls are enabled (though that'll send an alert to parents).

The idea isn't to control teens, instead it's a way for adults to still be involved as their kids grow more attached to devices. Parents won't be able to change teen's devices or change their passwords, like they can for younger children.

Additionally, Google says Family Link is coming to "almost every" country in the world. Given just how early kids get their hands on phones and tablets these days, that's a smart move. Family Link is also getting more useful for families with Google Home devices -- parents will be able to lock and locate devices with just a voice command. And that smart speaker is also getting more useful for kids, with the ability to answer questions in a child-friendly way, as well as tell stories. While Family Link can't do much with Chromebooks yet, Google says it'll offer app controls for parents eventually.

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