Since the pandemic began, gaming has offered a way for people to stay connected, but even Microsoft knows that too much of a good thing can be harmful and that “gaming should be part of a balanced life.” With that in mind, it’s rolling out the official Xbox Family Sharing App. Available for iOS and Android, the app lets parents and caregivers create child and teen accounts, set screen time limits by day of the week, accept or decline friend requests and more.
Microsoft released a preview of the app in May. Since then, it has given caregivers more control over their kids’ friend lists and made it possible for caregivers to grant more screen time. Kids and teens simply send a request to their adult, and that person can accept or deny the screen-time boost. Adults can set content filters, and they’ll get daily and weekly screen time reports for each child.
As promised, Microsoft will allow younger kids to play Minecraft with caregiver approval. Minecraft is rated E10+, but the Xbox Family Sharing App includes a toggle that allows kids under 10 to play with their friends. Microsoft says it might add a similar functionality for other games in the future.
The app works with Windows and Xbox One now, and it will work with the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S when they arrive in November.