Microsoft Family Safety App Launched On iOS And Android
Earlier this year, Microsoft introduces the revamped Microsoft 365 subscription services and also revealed a Family Safety app. After being available in limited preview for a few months, the Microsoft Family Safety app is now being rolled out to both iOS and Android.
Introducing the Family Safety app. Customize your kids’ web access, balance healthy screen times, and stay connected to what matters most—all in one place. Available on iOS and Android. https://t.co/YvHeJIVwb9 pic.twitter.com/IruFtpnGAp
— Microsoft 365 (@Microsoft365) July 28, 2020
The Family Safety app is meant to be a platform through which members of a family can keep track of their digital activities and even keep track of each other in real-time. The app is mainly meant to help parents keep track of their child’s virtual presence.
The app shares a weekly activity report with parents and the child over e-mail that includes weekly statistics of screen time on their devices, top websites visited, content viewed and even the time spent playing games.
In the blog announcement, Corporate Vice President of Modern Life, Search, and Devices at Microsoft, Liat Ben-Zur points out that the weekly activity report can be a conversation starter to help parents better connect with their child.
Additionally, the Family Safety app also gives parents control over their child’s digital wellbeing via tools to limit screen time and block mature content.
The app allows parents to limit screen time for their children on Windows PC, Xbox, or Android phones and can be set for individual apps/game. This allows the child to have uninterrupted access to an app that is needed for attending an online class or even learn.
Also, the screen time set for a particular app/game is applicable across all the platforms. So, three hours of screen time for a game/app, say Minecraft would mean three hours on Windows PC, Xbox, or Android phone.
Parents can set search filters and block mature content on devices used by their children to ensure access to kid-friendly websites only. They can even opt-in to be notified when their children try to download an app/game that is rated mature on the Microsoft Stores.
The app has a map with which users can check in on their family members with the help of location-sharing. Users can even save frequently visited places, like work, school and home on the map.
Most of these features were announced along with the limited preview of Family Safety back in May. According to Microsoft, since then new features have been added based on the feedback received from the preview.
Parents now have the ability to block/unblock specific apps. They also have access to additional time options of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours to easily extend any apps’ set screen time. Additionally, the map has been updated with location clustering feature.
Microsoft has also improved the visual contrast of the app and provided additional context for screen reader users so that it is more accessible to users. Microsoft further plans on introducing two new premium features, drive safety and location alerts as part of the Microsoft 365 Family subscription.