Google adds screen time management to Chromebooks

Parents have more control over how kids use laptops following a Family Time update.

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Nathan Ingraham / Engadget
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

When Google brought its Family Link parental controls to Chromebook, they weren't all that useful because there were limited options available. Now, Google is offering parents more tools to supervise how their offspring use their laptops.

Parents can whitelist a selection of websites for youngsters to visit and approve which apps they download from Google Play. You might choose to hide certain apps, and there are options to manage in-app purchases. As with Family Time controls for Android, you can set screen time limits and bedtime hours.

An activity report will show you and the kids how long they spend using certain apps, so you can check how long they're playing games or watching YouTube compared with doing research or getting homework done. Family Link also allows you to monitor your children's Google Accounts -- teens will have the choice to turn off such supervision, but you'll receive a notification if they do. Under-13s can use dedicated child-friendly Google Accounts.

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