You’re probably already familiar with Google Family Link, which lets you manage and protect your family’s online usage. But if you’re more on the Microsoft ecosystem plus Android device, there’s now a new option for you in terms of managing your family’s “digital and physical safety”. Microsoft Family Safety app is now rolling out for Android (and iOS) devices after months of beta testing for selected users. It basically gives you tools to manage screen time use for kids, find out their location, and create a safe digital space for them to move in.
Parents can receive a weekly digital activity report on all their kids’ connected devices which they can use to create a conversation within the family about how much time should be spent on their devices and online. This is becoming a tricky line to walk with most kids now staying and studying online at home. The app will also let you set screen time limits on specific apps and games but kids can request for extra time if they run out but still need to be online.
You can also now set web and search filters to be more kid-friendly so they will not run into anything that may endanger them in any way. You can create a websites list that you can allow or block. This feature will of course work on the Microsoft Edge browser on Android, Windows, and even Xbox. To also make sure that you won’t get shocked with “unexpected” app store purchases, you can set it up to get an email request before the purchase goes through.
If you also need to keep tabs on your kids’ locations, the Family Safety app will show you each member’s last known location on a map. You will also be able to save favorite or most-used locations and later on, they will be adding a feature where you will get location alerts but that’s for those with a paid Microsoft 365 Family subscription. Another premium feature they’ll eventually be adding is a drive safety tool to give you insights into your driving behavior.
Since they’ve been beta testing this app, they’ve already made improvements as well in this stable version rollout. You can now block or unblock specific apps as well as add more time options for requests for extra screen time. Microsoft Family App is now available for Android devices for you to explore and utilize.