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Google Family Link Launches in Canada, Along with iPhone App

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Google Family Link has launched in Canada, allowing parents to manage their kids’ Android devices, running Nougat 7.0+ or Marshmallow 6.0+ (select devices).

The launch also debuts Google Family Link for iOS, allowing parents to control their child’s Android device from an iPhone.

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According to Google’s research, “76% of Canadian kids between the ages of 2-12 now own or share a tablet and 37% own or share a smartphone.”

With Family Link, it allows parents to create Google Accounts for their kids under 13 and manage their Android devices. Parents just need to create a Google Account on their child’s device, then link it to their Google Account, which will allow a variety of parental controls over apps and settings.

Here’s what Google Family Link can do:

  • Manage the apps your child can use
  • Approve or block the apps your child wants to download from the Google Play Store.
  • Keep an eye on screen time
  • See how much time your child spends on their favourite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.
  • Set device bedtime
  • Remotely lock your child’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

Charles Zaffaroni, Google Product Manager, Kids and Families, explains in a blog post “Family Link can help parents stay in the loop and set certain ground rules around how children use their devices.”

Google Family Link debuted last year in the U.S., and was limited to users in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand—and now Canada.

With recent discussion about how addictive smartphones are nowadays for children and teens, it’ll be interesting to see if Apple ever expands parental controls for iOS devices, to allow tracking of activity and remote locking of devices (well, you can already do this with Find my iPhone).

Click here to download Google Family Link for iOS in the App Store.

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  • ftheroux

    I downloaded the app, but when I start the setup process, I get a message saying my country isn’t supported. I guess they have to sort some things out in the backed of their system.

  • It’s Me

    Handing over your children for data mining at such young ages doesn’t seem like a great idea in some ways.

  • swotam

    As someone who deals with corporate users with personal Android devices (and therefore Google services) on a daily basis, you’d be amazed how many simply don’t give a shit, or just don’t understand why they should give a shit, when it comes to the amount of data collection that their devices perform. They seem perfectly happy to hand over their data to anyone and everyone without question.

  • It’s Me

    That’s the android business model. Android doesn’t exist if it can’t be used to Hoover massive amounts of data.

  • Paulo
  • Paulo

    Do you live in Quebec? The same thing happened to me.

  • ftheroux

    I do.

  • Paulo

    So I believe we are screwed. Same thing happened with YouTube kids: you can download it, but it won’t work here in Quebec.

    It’s another country, apparently.

  • m-p{3}

    I managed to create an account for my newborn and was billed the 0.01$ to proceed, but it says that my province (Quebec) isn’t supported. Great.

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