Microsoft is now making its family control settings available on Android devices.
The company has already made it possible for parents to control how long and when kids play games across Xbox consoles and Windows 10. And today it's enabling parents to specifically control how children interact with individual games and apps -- whether that's Sea of Thieves or Netflix. This means that children who may have been given a time limit on a game cannot simply get around it by moving devices.
"The new App and Game limits feature goes further by enabling two key things," begins Microsoft's family audience product and strategy lead Mouna Sidi Hida. "It allows families to set limits at the app and game level. I can set a limit for a specific app or game, and not just a blanket device-wide limit.
"That was based on feedback from customers, who -- particularly on Windows 10 devices -- use their device for multiple reasons, such as gaming, entertainment and homework. The ability to set limits at the app or game level makes it easier to use the device for other things, like homework."
"It is natural to want to protect kids across as many devices as possible"
To get the service working on Android, parents must install the Microsoft Launcher and sign into their Microsoft account, and that will work for all apps on that device.
"Our goal is for this feature to help families develop healthy habits and strike that balance that we know they want," says Hida.
Microsoft's family settings already include screen time, content filters, spending limits, online safety settings and more. Parents can control what websites are visited, who children can connect with, and how they engage with them. Microsoft says one of its focuses is to encourage discussion between the parent and child about online behaviour, and children can request extra playtime, which will result in a notification being sent to the parent(s).