Just as enthusiastic about parental control as Apple, Microsoft is rolling out updates to some of its apps that will give parents tighter control over the type of content viewed by their children on their smartphones. To kick things off, the Microsoft Launcher for Android has received an update that will let parents monitor their children’s whereabouts. Through it, they will also be able to check their children’s last known location and time. All this information will be accessible to parents across Android, Windows 10, and Xbox One devices. To enjoy these features, both the parents and the children must have a family group set up on their Microsoft account.
The next update comes to Microsoft Edge for Android. Microsoft’s renewed browser has been around for a while now and it is famous for its ability to quickly transfer open tabs from the smartphone to the computer and vice versa. The new update allows site blocking on the browser. To enable it, parents need only define the sites they want to allow or block for their children in the family group settings. When a blocked site is accessed, a message to request for permission is shown on the children’s smartphones.
Microsoft has also introduced MSN Kids, a new version of MSN made specifically for children. “The site offers editorially curated, age-appropriate news and features from partner publishers such as Time for Kids, Popular Science, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic, and USA TODAY,” writes Shilpa Ranganathan, General Manager for Microsoft Mobile Experiences at Microsoft in a blog post.
Family safety settings, which include the ability to review children’s purchase requests, set screen time limits, etc now work across Windows 10 and Xbox One devices. A new Ask a parent setting allows children to ask their parents for online purchases like Xbox games and content. Parents can then decide if they want to approve a request or not, based on the maturity level and cost of the content requested. Finally, a new shared family notebook option in OneNote allows parents and children to plan and edit shopping lists, holiday schedules, etc. together.