Five years ago, we introduced Family Link to give families tools that respect their individual choices with technology and enable them to create healthy, positive digital habits. Since then, we’ve seen how Family Link’s controls and settings, including screen time limits and content filters to find age-appropriate content, have helped families across the world find the right balance for them.
Today, we are announcing a new Family Link experience that offers the same flexibility and choice, and helps make it easier for you to keep your family safer online.
A new experience, streamlined for parents
We have redesigned Family Link to bring our most-used tools to the forefront. Parents will find their favorite features (like screen time limits and blocking and approving apps) in an all-new experience, and a central place for viewing requests and notifications. We’re also bringing new features that parents are asking for.
Parents have told us that some of Family Link’s most helpful features are tools to manage screen time and guide kids to age-appropriate content. Now, we’ve made them easier to use. The Controls tab enables parents to supervise with the ability to set screen time limits for each device or for specific apps, set content restrictions and manage app data permissions.
We understand there are times when you just want to temporarily change screen time settings in case your child needs a bit more time, like if you’re on a vacation or they simply must finish the last two minutes of their favorite show. Parents can now set “Today Only” screen time limits that override general screen time settings, and adjust them for one day without changing the rest of the settings and limits.
Having peace of mind about where your child is goes a long way. On the Location tab, you can see all of your children on the same map with their device location. You’ll also find other useful features like battery life and the ability to ring your child’s device to find it – like when it’s hidden between the couch cushions. And now, you can turn on notifications to be alerted when your child arrives at or leaves a specific destination like school or soccer practice.
We know parents are busy, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what kids are doing. The Highlights tab shows a snapshot of your child’s app usage, screen time and recently installed apps, so you can understand how your child has been using their device. We’re also adding resources from trusted partners like Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely and the Family Online Safety Institute to help you navigate conversations around online safety at home. We’re just getting started with the Highlights tab, and will be updating this section over time with more helpful insights and content.
We’ve created a central place for you to receive requests from your child and view your notifications. By tapping on the notifications bell at the top of your app, you’ll be able to keep an eye on important updates and see requests from your children for app downloads, purchases and access to blocked websites.
Family Link is also now available on the web for you and your children. If you’re away from your phone or don’t have the app, you’ll still have access to the features you need online. For your children, their Family Link web experience will help them better understand their parental control settings.
These updates will start rolling out today and will be complete over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out and learn more at g.co/familylink.
We’ve dedicated the last several years to creating products and services that have families in mind. Our goal is to allow kids of all ages to explore the best of what technology has to offer, in a safer way. We respect that each family’s relationship with technology is unique, so we want to give parents the tools and flexibility they need to find the right balance for their families — while also delivering more age-appropriate experiences.
Family Link’s new look and features
Over the last five years, the Family Link app on Android and iOS have been helping families stay safer online. Whether it’s with your child’s first Android phone or exploring content on YouTube and Google TV, we’ve provided parents with the tools to set screen time limits and guide children to age-appropriate content.
Based on parents’ feedback, we redesigned Family Link to bring our tools to the forefront and make them easier to use. Across the Controls, Location and Highlights tabs, you’ll find new experiences like “Today Only” screen time limits, alerts for when your children arrive and leave a location and recommended content from trusted partners around online safety.
For easier access, parents and their children can also access Family Link online in a new web experience. Stay tuned for these changes to start rolling out today and complete over the next few weeks.
More ways to explore content with Google TV
Google TV is an entertainment experience made for the whole family and its kids profiles are easy to use for kids of all ages. With the addition of managed watchlists, Google-powered kids recommendations and supervised accounts on YouTube, Google TV’s kids profiles just got even more helpful.
Bringing recommendations and watchlists to kids profiles makes it easier to find the perfect shows and movies. Kids can easily browse top entertainment from their approved apps, and you can build a “must watch” list just for them from their TV and mobile device. And for parents with older kids who are ready to move on from YouTube Kids, their tweens can now use a supervised Google Account to start exploring YouTube on their Google TV kids profile. These updates will also start rolling out today and complete over the next few weeks.
Regardless of the brand or device, we believe you should be able to benefit from the same quality experiences. Whether it’s for entertainment on Google TV or to help guide your child’s online experience with Family Link, we hope you’ll check out and enjoy these new updates on your devices.
As a dad to a toddler, kids profiles on Google TV have been a life-saver in my house. My son has his own space to watch his favorite movies and shows like “Paw Patrol.” I can also decide what apps he watches, set ratings for him and manage his screen time.
But I know how I use kids profiles will change as my son gets older. We’ve learned that families have different preferences depending on the age of their kids. So today, we’re introducing three features that make kids profiles even better for the whole family, no matter what age your kids are.
Have you ever been looking for something to watch and see a movie or show your kids might love? Now you can watchlist it for them. With parent-managed watchlists on kids profiles, you can create a “must-watch” list for your kids directly from your own profile. Just click on the movie or show, press the watchlist button and select your kids profile watchlist. The next time your kids are watching TV, their watchlist will be waiting for them right on their kids profile’s home screen.
Set up a parent-managed watchlist for your kids profiles
When your kids finish their favorite show, they might not be sure what to watch next. But with Google-powered recommendations on kids profiles, finding new things to watch just got easier. They can now discover popular movies and TV shows right on their profile’s home screen, based on the apps you’ve added and the rating settings you’ve set. We’ve also added a new “hide” button, which allows you to hide a title from the Popular movies or Popular TV shows rows you aren’t interested in. Just press and hold the Select button on the remote and select “hide.”
Discover popular movies and TV shows on kids profiles
Choose how your family watches YouTube
Families visit YouTube to have fun, learn, explore new interests and dive deeper into the things they love. If you have older kids in your home that are ready to move on from YouTube Kids, Google TV now supports a supervised experience on YouTube, so they can start exploring more of what YouTube has to offer with their Google TV kids profile. This experience comes with content settings for pre-teens and older, adjusts the features your child can use, and lets you block channels and manage additional controls through the YouTube mobile app.
A supervised experience on YouTube is now available on kids profiles