Microsoft has launched a new app designed for parental control and screen management: we are talking about Microsoft Family Safety, available on both Apple and Android devices.

The purpose of the new app is to help parents understand the amount of time spent by their children with their smartphones, and to set limits and create planning in the use of the device. In addition, Family Safety allows you to monitor the location of users via GPS, a function that can also have an important social aspect. Of course, it is also possible to inhibit the internet access of your smartphone in whole or in part.

Family Safety keeps a record of the activities of how time on screen is used by minors. It can track the hours spent on devices, including Windows computers, smartphones and Xbox consoles, as well as on websites and apps. It can also show the terms that children are looking for online, contributing to a true parental control system.

A weekly report is emailed to parents and children, hoping to encourage discussions on the correct and conscious use of technology. A very topical topic today: if it was already up to the moment to discuss the abuse of smartphones by children, lockdown has certainly made the problem even more serious for the most fragile subjects. Being able to actively check how and how much children use smartphones and computers is becoming more and more the new frontier of parental role; however without adequate tools like Family Safety the challenge is really unlikely even for the most virtuous of parents.

With the new app, parents can set screen time limits that apply to all devices, including Xbox consoles. These limits can be configured in a restrictive way to allow access to educational apps that facilitate the e-learning, while limiting other types of time on the screen, such as games. When children run out of time, they can ask for more and parents can choose whether or not to give it.

Due to the limitations imposed by the operating system, some Family Safety functions are not fully usable on iOS, such as online shopping controls or web traffic filtering.

On iOS, the app cannot even monitor the use of screen time as Apple does not make any API available. Needless to note, the choice of a family ecosystem is a condition that is gaining in weight, and the same applies to the world of smart home.

Microsoft has also revealed that new features will soon be released, and inserted into the context of a Microsoft 365 Family subscription for a fee.

The new Family Safety app is already available for iOS and Android as a free download.

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