What you need to know
- Microsoft is now testing its Family Safety app for Android and iOS in a public preview.
- The app allows you to view family members' activity, limit screen time, and take advantage of content controls.
- Family Safety integrates with Microsoft's family features available on Windows 10 and Xbox.
Microsoft launched its Family Safety app in a limited public preview today. The app, first announced in March, is available on Android and iOS, and it allows parents to keep an eye on their kids' screen time, set content controls, and more.
"Microsoft Family Safety helps you to facilitate a dialogue with your kids about the time they are spending on their devices and type of content they are viewing," Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the preview. "The app provides transparency on where everyone is spending time online and allows you to create flexible schedules to carve out more time for things like online learning. Additionally, it helps you stay connected even when you're apart with location sharing."
The app integrates with the family safety tools that Microsoft already provides with Windows 10 and Xbox. This allows Family Safety to provide a comprehensive look at what kids are doing online, their total screen time, and more. Parents can also set screen time limits and set boundaries with filters that will block things like mature content, specific apps, and more.
If a kid wants to spend more time on something, they can then send a request to their parents through the Family Safety app.
In order for all of this to work well, you need to be fairly inested in Microsoft's ecosystem. To keep an eye on websites visited, for example, kids will have to use Microsoft Edge and be signed in with their account. Setting time limits on games only works across Windows, Xbox, and Android apps and games as well, so iOS users will be left wanting there.
Microsoft says that family members can all manage their data and who it's shared with. The company is also quick to say that it "will not sell your data" and it works "around the clock to help protect your information."
The public preview currently has limited availability, but you can fill out this form to ask to participate in testing.
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