Microsoft has been testing a Family Safety app for iOS and Android for months now, and it’s ready to release it to everyone. The app will let you track your children’s screen usage, filter their websites, and set app time limits. Best of all, it’s free.
If you already use Microsoft’s family controls through Windows 10 or Xbox, then Family Safety for iOS and Android should feel very familiar. It brings many of the same tools to your children’s smartphones and tablets.
And using it across devices makes the suite of tools more powerful, as they can work in conjunction. Family Safety will provide you with weekly updates on what your child’s screen usage looks like, with summaries of apps, websites, and more. You can set app time limits to prevent them from playing Fortnite all day long.
Since it does work with Windows 10 and Xbox controls, your little one can’t evade your settings by switching from one device to another. If you use Microsoft Edge (now based on Chromium), you can also enable filters to prevent them from wandering to adult sites. or to limit them specifically to kid-friendly sites if your children are still very young.
Family Safety might also prevent surprise bills, as you can turn on a spending feature that asks permissions before purchasing apps in the Microsoft Store. And when the world is ready to travel again, Family Safety will give you a map view of where your family is, so you don’t have to wonder if your kids made it to school.
Microsoft Family Safety is out now on Android and should arrive shortly on iOS.