parents of teenagers glued to their smartphones now have a new way to pry them away from their gadgets.
Google has launched new tools on its free Family Link app designed to set “digital ground rules” for teenagers.
The app was launched in March and provides parents with weekly activity reports on their child’s phone usage. It also allows parents to block certain apps and lock their child’s device remotely.
Up until now, the app was designed to help control the smartphone habits of children 13 and under. However, the new update extends those controls to older teenagers.
Google has also added the ability for parents to remotely lock their teenagers’ accounts on the app using Google Assistant.
For example, parents can say ‘Hey Google, lock Harry’s device,’ and teens will have a few minutes to finish what they are doing before their smartphone is turned off.
Teenagers, however, have the ability to override the controls, although Google says it will let parents know if they do.
If teens choose to turn off the tools they will have to wait 24 hours until the phone is unlocked.
Google family and kids director Paulo Golgher said: “Over the coming days, we’ll make Family Link available to more families, on more devices, and in nearly every country in the world.”
The app is only available on Android smartphones and iPhones. According to Google’s PlayStore it has been downloaded more than a million times. Family Link will also soon be available for Chromebook laptops.
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