After a limited preview earlier this year, the Microsoft Family Safety app will be available to everyone in the coming days. The app helps parents protect their children on the internet with tools such as screen time, content filters and location sharing.
Microsoft has improved the app during its beta testing period and added features including the ability to unblock or block certain apps, the addition of more precise time blocks to add and ‘location clustering’. This will let you see when multiple family members are in the same location at once.
– We added a new feature to block or unblock specific apps.
– We updated our designs to be more accessible and inclusive (i.e. improved visual contrast to help low vision users and provided additional context for screen reader users).
– We added more time options for parents to quickly respond to requests for screen time (i.e. you can now easily add 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours of more of screen time)
– We added location clustering to see when multiple family members are at the same location (i.e. when multiple people are in one place you can see that there are 4 people and zoom in to see who it is).
Screen time limits let you set limits that appear across Microsoft devices (Xbox, Windows 10 and Android). This will reduce the time a child spends on a device and can prevent specific apps from being opened. Parents will also receive screen time requests when a child asks for more time.
You can set boundaries when on the internet with content filters. This can block mature content above a certain age, view requests to remove filters and filter apps and games.
Weekly summaries and email reports will also be available. These do exist with the current family.microsoft.com system, but are generally hard to access. The improved activity reporting means you can view most visited websites, screen time and what children are searching for.
The app will be available in the App Store and Google Play in the coming days. We are unable to provide a direct link at the moment.