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Parents can now ask Google to lock their teenager's smartphone

21 September 2018

The developers plan to add more features allowing parents to set screen time limits and manage the apps that their kids can use on Chromebooks just as they do with their phones in the near future.

Parents of teenagers glued to their smartphones now have a new way to pry them away from their gadgets.

First launched previous year in the United States, Google's Family Link parental control app is now available here. Users in the US will also be able to use their Google Assistants to manage their Family Link accounts starting next week.

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Up until now, Family Link has only been compatible with accounts for users under 13 years of age. "This week, parents around the world will be able to use Family Link to supervise their teen's existing Google Account for the first time", said Paulo Golgher, director, Kids and Families, Google, in a blog post.

Besides Singapore, the Family Link app was also launched today in selected territories of Asia (India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) and Latin America (Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama and Peru). When a kid turned 13, supervision was disabled and we heard over and over again that this is really when parents ~needed~ supervision. The app which was available in the USA until now has been launched today globally in countries including India. However, owing to favourable response from parents, Google is now expanding the app to allow the smartphone usage of teenagers to be monitored as well.

Google says the functionality that allows parents to monitor their teen's account will go live sometime this week.

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Better parental controls are coming to Chromebooks, with the ability to set screen time limits and manage apps.

With the update, however, there is a difference in how much a parent can control their teen's device.

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Parents can now ask Google to lock their teenager's smartphone