Given Google markets Chromebooks as affordable laptops for the education market – and has had a great deal of success doing so – it’s probably about time the company outed some decent screen time management tools.
Today, Google obliged by rolling out an update to its Family Link tool for Chromebooks, which will enable parents to gain more control over how, and how long kids are able to use their notebook.
Parents will be able to remote lock Chromebooks and set a screen time limit, or by adding bedtime hours. In either case, once the limit has been reached, children won’t be able to advance passed the login screen. They’ll also see a time when they’re allowed to ‘Come Back’.
Of course, if more time is required to complete an assignment parents will be able to unlock the Chromebook using the Family Link app for Android (via 9to5Google).
Related: Best Chromebook 2018
The original version of the app offered parents the ability to whitelist the websites their offspring could visit and the same now applies for the Android apps available to download on Chrome OS. That could stop kids downloading age-restricted content, but it could also prevent them from sneakily downloading games, Netflix and social media apps when they’re supposed to be doing homework.
Parents will be able to approve pending installs before they are downloaded, while they can also hide some from view completely. Of course, in-app purchases can also be locked down.
Many of these tools were already available on Android devices and those that weren’t were added into the mix today too. Google added Family Time tools to Chrome OS in September as part of its Digital Wellbeing drive. The company says 50% of 6-12 year olds own, or have some access to a laptop computer.
Do you think Google adding improved Screen Time tools will keep kids with Chromebooks safer and more productive online? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.