Published On: Wed, Jul 29th, 2020

Microsoft’s new Family Safety app offers parental controls opposite phones, PCs and Xbox

Microsoft’s new shade time and parental controls app, Microsoft Family Safety, is currently rising publicly on iOS and Android, following a preview of a knowledge that had arrived progressing this spring. The app is designed to assistance relatives softened know children’s use of shade time, set boundary and emanate shade time schedules, configure bounds around web access, and lane family members’ location, among other things.

The app competes with other parental control technologies, including those built into iOS and Android — a latter of that is also accessible as a standalone app, called Family Link. Like a competitors, Microsoft Family Safety will work best for those who have already bought into a company’s possess ecosystem of products and services. In Microsoft’s case, that includes Windows 10 PCs and Xbox devices, for example.

Also like many shade time apps, Family Safety displays an activity record of how shade time is being used by kids. It can lane a hours spent on devices, including Windows computers, phones, and Xbox, as good as opposite websites and apps. It can also uncover a terms kids are acid for online.

Image Credits: Microsoft

A weekly news is emailed to relatives and kids, with a hopes of enlivening discussions around healthy use of shade time. This was already a difficult theme before a pandemic. But now, with kids attending propagandize during home and stuffing summer downtime with hours in games while relatives still try to work though childcare, it’s grown to be even some-more complicated.

Initially, relatives might have usually given adult on shade time altogether, beholden for anything that authorised them that gave them moments of peace. But with staying during home apropos a new normal, many families are now reconsidering what volume of shade time is healthy and how most is too much.

With a new app, relatives can set shade time boundary that request opposite inclination — including Xbox. These boundary can be narrowly configured to concede for entrance to educational apps that promote online learning, while tying other forms of shade time — like gaming, for instance. When kids run out of time, they can ask for some-more and relatives can select either or not to extend it.

Meanwhile, a web filtering aspects of a new app take advantage of Microsoft’s newer browser, Microsoft Edge opposite Windows, Xbox, and Android. The app will concede relatives to set hunt filters and retard mature content. Other calm controls will forewarn relatives if a child tries to download a mature diversion or app from a Microsoft Store, as well.

Image Credits: Microsoft


Parents can also control purchases by extenuation capitulation to kids’ requests, so there won’t be warn bills later.

Plus, a app’s built-in plcae pity means families can skip downloading additional family locator apps, like Life360, for entrance to elementary plcae tracking facilities — like those that uncover family members on a map and lets we save favorite locations, like “Home.”

Image Credits: Microsoft

Since a preview period, Microsoft has stretched a app’s capabilities to embody a handful of new features, including one that lets we retard and unblock specific apps, a plcae clustering feature, and an stretched set of options for extenuation some-more shade time (e.g 15 or 30 mins., 1, 2, or 3 hours, etc.). Accessibility options were also updated and improved, including softened visible contrariety for low prophesy users and additional context for shade readers.

You’ll note, however, that some of Family Safety’s knowledge don’t entirely extend to iOS and Android, like squeeze controls and web filtering. On iOS, a app can’t even lane shade time use as Apple creates no API accessible for this, even after rising a possess shade time use and shutting down competing apps.

That’s due to how other platforms have their possess handling systems and ecosystems sealed down to inspire business to usually buy and use their devices. Unfortunately, that means families that have inclination from a accumulation of vendors — like iPhone users who also diversion on Xbox, or Android users whose mechanism is a Mac, for instance — don’t have elementary collection that let them conduct all from one place.

Microsoft says it will shortly hurl out dual new facilities to Family Safety following a launch. These embody plcae alerts and expostulate reserve (e.g. directed teen drivers),, and will be a partial of a paid Microsoft 365 Family Subscription.

The new Family Safety app is rolling out now for iOS and Android as a giveaway download. You might not be means to immediately entrance a app due to a phased rollout, though should someday this week.

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