Xbox has announced the launch of a family settings app covering the main safety features available in its ecosystem, such as managing screen time and creating content filters.
It's available now in public preview for all Android users, as well as 10,000 iOS users -- the restricted number is due to Apple's TestFlight rules. More features will be added later in the year when it fully launches.
"It's an important and exciting step for us," corporate vice president of Xbox Operations Dave McCarthy tells during a presentation demoing the app. "This is an area that's near and dear to my heart, and the introduction of this app is just another step in our journey around responsible gaming and giving our players -- in this case parents and kids -- some added tools that they can use to manage their online experience."
"The introduction of this app is just another step in our journey around responsible gaming"
This is part of ongoing efforts from Xbox to develop both its safety settings for families, but also their accessibility. The platform holder released an Xbox Family Guide around Christmas 2018, and made its safety settings available on Android through its Microsoft Launcher app in late 2019. McCarthy also touched upon these topics in an interview with last year.
The new app feels like the natural next step in presenting these settings in a user-friendly manner, accessible for even tech-averse parents and guardians. It also helps raise awareness that gaming can be part of a healthy family life.
"[We have] over 20 features now," McCarthy says. "You can manage purchased content, screen time, put content filters, manage your privacy and communication. Some of that surfaces in the app.