There is a mysterious relationship between smartphones and children. Android smartphones are designed for entertainment purposes for kids, however, at the same time, these devices are also designed for adults. Given that, the inappropriate content and apps may hamper your children’s privacy and innocence, especially if they’re using your personal phones. As a parent you want your children to be safe online and keep them away from predators, cyber bullies, and hackers. Google has discovered a new app for parents that help them set up Android phone for kids.
Google empowers parents to manage their children’s online activity on Android phones with its Family Link app. Google’s new app allows parents to set up their kid’s accounts, monitor what apps they’ve installed, track their kid’s location, as well as establish screen-time limits.
How does it work?
You can create a Google account on your kid’s Android phone using Family Link app. Once you’ve created the account, you can set rules for that account to limit app management and screen time. Not only this but you can also set a ‘bedtime’ or sleeping hours on your kid’s device during which the phone cannot be operated.
Earlier, Google’s terms of service restricted anyone less than 13 years from having an account. With a quick poll around the offices, many parents have skirted the restriction in favor to give children access to email, calendars, and the Google Play Store.
Google’s Family Link app requires two Android smartphones, one is yours and the other one is your child’s phone. It should be noted that the Family Link works on Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat, for now.
However, at present, the Family Link app is available only in the US and by invite only. In addition, your kids’ phone should be a new device or a freshly wiped out phone set up as new.
Steps to set up Android phone for kids
As mentioned above, you’ll need to have two Android smartphones. Just install the Google’s Family Link app on both the phones.
Once you’ve installed the app on your Android phone, follow the steps given below:
- Open the Family Link app and select Create a Google Account for your kid
- Follow screen prompts
- Enter your credit card information under the Parental Consent tab
Note that Google will charge 30 cents to your credit card for verifying that you are a parent.
- Type your kid’s first and last name
- Enter your kid’s gender and birthday (this is optional)
- Come up with a Gmail username for your kid
After installing the app on your kids’ phone, follow the steps below:
- When prompted, place your kid’s smartphone next to your smartphone
- Open the Family Link app and log in to the app with the kid’s Google account
How to manage settings?
Once you have set up Android phone for kids, you’re able to manage settings for everything from access to the Google Play Store to the location privacy. The settings include:
- Websites on Google Chrome
- Filters available on Google Search
- Account info
- Controls on Google Play Store
- Android apps
Websites on Google Chrome
It’s not a surprise that the Internet may prove an unsafe place for children, with its stream of inappropriate content and the ability to connect with just about anyone. You can limit your children’s access to the Internet under this segment. You can easily enable your child to visit all websites without adult content or a custom list of websites that you’ve created.
Filters available on Google Search
While your kid uses Google Search feature, you can enable a Safe Search filter that will restrict sexually explicit and vicious results.
You can now track your child’s phone location. The only thing required is that the phone has to be on and your child’s account has to be signed in. Your child will get to know when their location is being logged by you. It is a nice feature that enhances communication between parents and their children.
This segment contains all the information on your kid’s Google account. You’ll be surprised to know that you can change your child’s account password under this segment.
Controls on Google Play Store
Not only you can set up Android phone for kids but you can also check the settings of your children’s access to the Google Play Store. The best option is to protect your wallet. It’s up to you allowing your kid to purchase apps with or without your approval. You can even limit in-app purchases or deny any access to the Play Store.
In addition, you can also set content ratings for apps, movies, books, music, and games as well, just to make sure that your kid watches Disney movies instead of horror ones.
There are two lists under this setting, one for blocked apps while the other for allowed apps. These controls are basically for apps available on your child’s phone.
That’s it! This is how you can set up Android phone for kids.
What’s the ideal solution?
Google’s Family Link app is surely a great tool to help you manage how your kids use their Android phones. But apart from using the Family Link app, you can try to build up strong communication with your children. The best thing to do is sit with your children and have a talk with them about online safety. You can discuss with them about how they use their phones and how they can be secure and responsible.